Kendrick Johnson’s Parents Sue School District

Hat Tip To Yahtzee.

Kenneth and Jacquelyn Johnson have filed suit against a Georgia school district claiming it was negligent in protecting their son from harassment and bullying, which they allege led to his death. The lawsuit, filed in State Superior Court, also alleges that Lowndes County Board of Education violated Kendrick’s constitutional right to equal protection based on race.

Discoveries in this case have been numerous and shocking. The Sheriff’s Office ruled that Kendrick’s death was accidental.   They contend that Kendrick climbed into the center of the gym mat to reach for a shoe, got stuck, and (in lay man’s terms), died from inability to breathe while upside down.

Photographs of the scene provide that Kendrick’s shoes were on top of his feet, and not at the bottom of the gym mat.

kendrick2-600x4501In May 2013, two reports were released. Both were written by paramedics with the South Georgia Medical Center Mobile Healthcare Service. According to the reports, Kendrick’s body showed obvious signs of a struggle. His body was found in a pool of blood and vomit. One of the paramedics reported that he considered the high school gym as the scene of a criminal homicide.   The Sheriff however, insisted that Kendrick’s death was an accident.

Kendrick was buried, and by an order of the court, his body was later exhumed. His parents had an independent, postmortem autopsy performed and it was then that it was discovered that all of Kendrick’s internal organs had been removed and replaced with newspaper. Dr. William R. Anderson, a forensic pathologist with the private firm Forensic Dimensions, located in Heathrow, Florida, found “unexplained apparent non-accidental blunt force trauma” to the teen’s neck and concluded the death was a homicide.

1381504214000-USA-NOW-stillAt one point, the school refused to turn over surveillance video of the gym for the last day that Kendrick was in school.  When the video was received, sections had been edited out.

Attorney Benjamin Crump, who is on the legal team representing Kendrick’s family, told NewsOne Now; “We now cannot re-test his organs to see what happened because the funeral home threw them away or Georgia medical examiner threw them away. They’re pointing fingers at each other but we need to know because whoever did that should be accountable to this family.”

In October 2013, U.S. Attorney Moore for the Middle District of George, launched a federal investigation into the case.  On March 13, 2014, in Macon, Georgia, four of Johnson’s classmates as well as students from nearby Valdosta High School appeared before the federal grand jury looking into the death. The investigation is ongoing.

In February 2014, Kendrick’s parents filed suit against the Harrington Funeral Home in Valdosta, Georgia, who handled Kendrick’s body, claiming they committed negligence and fraud. Kendrick’s family alleges that the mishandling and disposal of Kendrick’s organs was in attempt to thwart investigation into Kendrick’s death.

For more information, Jim Fisher, a professor of criminal justice at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, and a former FBI agent, has written “Was Kendrick Johnson Murdered?” which you can read on his blog.

Click here to read the lawsuit.

Posted on 05/15/2014, in Kendrick Johnson and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. There are no words.

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  2. This is a link to CNN’s program focusing on the surveillance tapes at Kendrick Johnson’s school:

    http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2013/11/21/kendrick-johnson-case-tale-of-the-tapes/?hpt=ac_bn1

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  3. How can the Sheriff’s office stick by their theory of Kendrick reaching for his shoe and getting stuck, when it’s clear his shoes were on top of his feet? The edited video screams foul play. I don’t blame his parents for suing. It may be the only way they are ever going to find out the truth of how their son died.

    The school, the Sheriff’s office and the funeral home all seem to be complicit in the cover up.

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  4. As I understand it, the funeral home is black-owned. I am wondering if there was a substantial payoff or substantial threats. Some black folks have the spine of a jellyfish and love the smell of new money.

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    • annahkonda,
      Greed has one color — green. Fear has no color. It is only given life by those who fear. Sadly, and especially in the South, Black people have been in positions where their livelihood can be negatively impacted unless they go along with the program. That happens to people of other races as well, but they can generally recover when having the financial means to relocate.

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  5. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Good for the parents!! Wishing that real justice prevails!!!

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  6. A lot more than just the school district needs to be sued here. More was involved and it is ugly. I hope this provides the family with the entire story.

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  7. Sorry – I don’t mean to interrupt, but has anyone seen this?

    http://www.tvmix.com/george-zimmerman-film-on-fight-club-alki-david/123

    Is it for real or one of those satire things? There is a link on it to a video http://www.battlecam.com/video/74261

    Is this for real???!!

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    • towerflower

      I went to the tvmix site and read their about us tab and there was nothing to say it was a satire site. It appears it might be real and they had a plan on linking Z think they were going to use a body double for him and the fighter let it out of the bag.

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      • Because the same promoter did the video, I’m thinking that it actually happened.

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        • Hmmm. The article is gone but the video is still there. The article had something interesting. They asked him if he knew how to act. His alleged response was, “you watched my trial, didn’t you?”

          And this story, this one about Kendrick Johnson always makes me cry for days. He is such a beautiful child. I just don’t understand this stuff, I just don’t!!!!

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          • There were screen shots of his texts messages — the one where he was asked if he could act, and his response about watching his trial. Since the DOJ is still investigating, GZ no doubt asked that it be taken down.

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    • I saw it yesterday and It doesn’t look like Zimmerman to me. I tried to look at the big body guard guy and his tattoos and compare it to wes since wes has pics up on his TL and I cant match them. I just don’t believe it. I mean Zimmerman is desperate for cash big time. I know he’s sweating about not getting the big bucks he got himself accustomed to from begging online and I don’t doubt he’s arrogant enough to believe he wld go and do this scam and get away w.it. but I don’t trust that promoter POS he’s something out of nightmares. a rapist, kidnapper, possibly a killer. I wont believe anything from him unless I see it, even then I want a 2nd opinion.
      i do think however, that Zimmerman wld do it if offered. that’s what makes the story so believable. he is a scammer and a liar and has no problem exploiting that he got away with murdering a child. i just need clearer video to believe that happened. remember, they supposedly have a “body double”, why couldn’t the guy in the video be that body double?

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      • Xena, why wld they care what Zimmerman wants?? what right does he have to make them take down his texts? it’s not like they’re legally libel to or have to worry about the feds. the only reason i can think of them taking it down is if it was faked. if they misrepresented that it was Zimmerman’s text when it wasn’t, then i could see them being threatened by Zimmerman w a law suit. but why take it down if it was real? it only enhances their story.

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        • Shannon,
          I don’t know if that’s the case — just reaching/speculating for a reason why the article would be taken down. For all we know, one of his supporters could have threatened to burn down the company unless it was removed. 🙂

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  8. yahtzeebutterfly

    The Associated Press @AP · 4h 4 hours ago
    Parents of Georgia teen found dead in gym mat sue classmates amid federal investigation: http://apne.ws/1IOQMu9

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