The Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office have been sued by the parents of Kendrick Johnson, a student at Lowndes County High School whose body was discovered inside an upright wrestling mat, for allegedly spreading “false information” regarding the investigation into his de*ath.

“It’s unfortunate that we’ve been at war for ten long years and that Kendrick seems to be unimportant to anyone. He’s just another kid that they want to brush aside, Jackie Johnson, Kendrick’s mother, said.

It’s been 10 years since Johnson’s body was found by classmates and alerted a coach, who contacted emergency personnel.

Soon after, sheriff’s detectives came to the conclusion that Johnson had perished in a freak accident while attempting to retrieve a shoe that had fallen inside the upright mat. He was stuck upside down and unable to breathe. Johnson’s parents have long maintained that he was mu*rdered, and that law enforcement and school administrators covered it up.

There, we reside. We are familiar with the character of this community. We anticipate their deception. Kendrick Johnson’s father, Kenneth Johnson, said, “We know how they will cover up for one another.

In a case file summary published last year, Lowndes County Sheriff Ashley Paulk stated that the investigation has not changed its initial conclusion that the teen’s de*ath was accidental and unrelated to any criminal activity.

Kenneth and Jackie Johnson, Kendrick’s parents, disagree with the sheriff’s findings and label the incident a “cover up.” The family and the attorneys claim they want to “address the materially false information” in Paulk’s synopsis as part of the new $1 billion lawsuit.

Jackie Johnson declared, “We are going to keep fighting for Kendrick because his life mattered.

Following the filing of the lawsuit on Tuesday, Kenneth Johnson said one instance of what the family claims is false information is law enforcement’s claim that his son’s body showed no signs of trauma or significant bruising.

According to Jonathan Burrs, the Johnsons’ attorney, “all the evidence they gathered contradicts the cause of de*ath on the de*ath certificate as well as the synopsis.”

According to Johnson, images of the body taken soon after it was discovered revealed damage from a device similar to a Taser or stun gun.

“What the Johnsons found was that there was materially false information in that synopsis that could’ve only come from the medical examiner who invented this narrative, and we say invented because there is no evidence to support it,” Burrs said.

The Johnsons’ worries include the assertion that a medical examiner with the Georgia Bureau of Investigators “butchered” and “mutilated” their son’s body after his autopsy.

According to a retired surgeon’s experience with autopsies, they had not seen anything even vaguely resembling Kendrick’s body in more than 43 years, the family wrote.

The Johnsons assert that, if necessary, they will appeal their dispute regarding the investigation to the US Supreme Court.

Jackie Johnson said, “They k*illed the wrong child, but they got the right parents because we will keep fighting for Kendrick.

Evidence in Kendrick Johnson de*ath investigation

Johnson’s de*ath was ruled an accident by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation in 2013, with asphyxia as the cause of de*ath. Federal authorities closed the investigation three years later, stating that they “found insufficient evidence to support federal criminal charges.”

Paulk’s statement said, “I do find it disturbing and unethical that this investigation seemed to turn into a ‘witch hunt’ after the FBI informed the Middle District of Georgia’s US Attorney that they had found nothing illegal and were therefore closing the case.

According to Paulk’s synopsis, investigators discovered that wrestlers occasionally kept their shoes inside wrestling mats. Johnson is depicted reaching into a mat to retrieve shoes in the investigation file. His body was discovered with his feet protruding from the top of the mat and his head turned downward.

No signs of blunt force trauma or foul play were found by investigators at the scene where Johnson’s body was found and in a submission from the Valdosta-Lowndes County Crime Laboratory. The submission from the crime lab noted “signs of skin slippage on Johnson’s abdomen area, face, and arm.”

Cameras saw Johnson at 1:27 p.m. on Jan. 10, 2013, “walking at a fast pace” near the area of the gym mats. That was the last time Johnson was seen alive.

Concern of a cover-up

Given the involvement of numerous local, state, and federal agencies, Paulk dismissed the idea of a cover-up, stating that “it would be impossible to conceal any evidence”.

For anyone who comes forward with information that results in the arrest and conviction of anyone connected to Johnson’s de*ath, the sheriff has offered a $500,000 reward out of his own pocket.

Jackie Johnson claimed she wanted her son to receive justice.

“Nobody really cares. Nobody wants Kendrick to get justice. It’s just like shut this family up, sending them on their way, but what they didn’t realize is the Johnson family is not going anywhere,” Jackie Johnson said.

Rumors surrounding Kendrick Johnson’s de*ath

Regarding alleged rumors of hostility between Johnson and a classmate, Paulk debunked them. Before a football game in 2011, the two are said to have gotten into a fight on a bus, and both were informed they could not take the bus home after the game.

Paulk said that according to testimony from other students, “this fight did not appear to cause any animosity between the two; in fact, they later worked together on a class project.”

The FBI also concluded that a rumor that a particular classmate was upset with Johnson because of a relationship he had with another classmate lacked any basis in fact.

“The FBI states in two different documents there was no basis to this rumor and no evidence to support it,” Paulk said. 

“The FBI states in two different documents there was no basis to this rumor and no evidence to support it,” Paulk said. 

The “witch hunt” that followed the FBI telling the U.S. Department of Justice they had found no evidence of criminal activity was highlighted by Paulk in the synopsis.

In the document, Paulk says, “I am quite sure that there will still be a contingent that will believe there was foul play.” Before forming an opinion, I strongly advise everyone to carefully review ALL of the available evidence.

Paulk lists numerous instances of “blatant coercion and intimidation” that occurred after the initial investigation was concluded.

According to Paulk, a witness received a “financial inducement” while testifying, and a text message that was presented as evidence told the witness to lie.

Paulk claims that a female medical examiner conducting autopsies and a woman working for the DOJ “apparently developed a close relationship in which they address their correspondence to each other by their first names.” In an email, the woman allegedly writes to a male counterpart, “I had to make him feel like a man so he would be open to talking.”

The cause of de*ath and the manner of de*ath were listed as being unknown in an amended report following that meeting.

‘Finding Kendrick Johnson’ documentary

The case received widespread media coverage and became the focus of the documentary “Finding Kendrick Johnson.”

The case is examined from Johnson’s parents’ perspective in the 2021 documentary.

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