More than a decade ago, 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson was found dead and wrapped up in a gym mat at a high school in Lowndes County, Georgia. Investigators decided no one was responsible.

Source: Paras Griffin / Getty

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Chief Medical Examiner decided no one was responsible. The Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office decided no one was responsible and then, in 2021, decided someone might be responsible and reopened the case, but then they decided no one was responsible, again.

Meanwhile, Kendrick’s family has not forgotten and they’re still fighting for justice.

According to 11 Alive, the family announced Tuesday that they have filed a $1 billion federal lawsuit against several law enforcement agencies involved in Kendrick’s case, including the Lowndes County Medical Examiner, the sheriff’s office, and the GBI. Like any of us, they are not willing to accept that a teen who was wrapped up in a mat when his body was discovered died from some freak accident nobody could account for, especially since a second autopsy revealed he suffered a blow to the neck before he died.

“It’s painful. It’s hurtful. It’s a shame that we have been having to fight for 10 and a half long years,” Kendrick’s mother, Jacquelyn Johnson, said during the news conference.

Justice For Kendrick Johnson Rally

Source: Paras Griffin / Getty

She also declared that the family is “going to continue to keep fighting for Kendrick because his life mattered.”

Kendrick’s father also has expressed doubt regarding the investigators’ conclusions for several reasons including an allegation that his son might have been tased prior to his death.

“Sheriff Ashley Paulk said there was no bruising on Kendrick’s face or his body,” Kenneth Johnson, Kendrick’s father, said reports WSBTV. 

Justice For Kendrick Johnson Rally

Source: Paras Griffin / Getty

According to the family, photos from the crime scene given to them by investigators show otherwise.

“The only thing that can make those marks is a taser or a stun gun,” Mr. Johnson said. “You see he has bruises on his stomach.”

Kendrick Johnson’s family has promised to keep fighting but investigators are doubling down on their original ruling.

“The GBI Medical Examiner’s Office conducted a thorough autopsy on this case,” the GBI said in a statement in response to the lawsuit. “The case is closed, and we stand behind our original findings.”



Zack Linly

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