The parents of Kendrick Johnson with spkesman Marcus Coleman at the Georgia State Capitol

The death of teen Kendrick Johnson has been the source of grief for the family and confusion for the others involved in the tragedy. Much has been written about the circumstances surrounding the discovery of the young man’s body, but there is an underlying current of distrust for Lowndes County officials that have led many to believe that a conspiracy is afoot to protect certain individuals with powerful law enforcement connections from possible prosecution for what many believe is murder and not an accident.

The official cause of death for Kendrick Johnson is positional asphyxia due to his being trapped in an upright wrestling mat, which was deemed accidental. But members of the Johnson family dispute these findings and maintain that Johnson was in fact beaten and murdered. The condition of the body was horrific and for many reminded them of images of lynched Black teenager Emmitt Till. Despite the outcry of the family, there have been others on the periphery who claim that the evidence does not support murder or a cover-up. This has caused extreme pain and anger from the Johnson family and a large number of people who continue to fight for justice. Currently, the federal government is conducting a wide-ranging homicide investigation.

Marcus Coleman 2

Marcus Coleman, family spokesperson, has indicated that the case is moving forward despite the claims of a tragic accident. Coleman spoke with rolling out recently and explained that the family will no longer respond to the claims of former Valdosta NAACP president and current  Vladosta SCLC lead investigator Leigh Touchton, who in his belief is tied closely with the law enforcement community of Lowndes County.

“For me to continue to go back and forth over her false narrative is asinine and counterproductive,” said Coleman.

According to Coleman, the extent of Touchton’s investigation ended with the closing of the case by the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department and she has not been privy to any information regarding the federal investigation. Per Coleman, Touchton’s “investigation” lasted only a few months, not 10 months as claimed by her in a recent statement.

Furthermore, Coleman maintains that Touchton has a direct relationship with the family of one of the accused students. This being said, there is a strong indication that Touchton is trying to introduce a false narrative that could possibly taint the public opinion of many who have been watching developments in the case. The fact of the matter is that the federal government, through the Justice Department, is involved, and U.S. Attorney Michael Moore said of the investigation “While our investigation has proven to be more complicated and taken longer than I had originally anticipated, we remain committed to following the facts where they may lead,”.

Recent developments in the case show that the investigation headed by Moore is not shying away from controversy and is seeking the truth. Recently, subpoenas were issued for several Lowndes County High School administrators, including the principal, the wrestling coach and his wife to answer questions relating to Johnson’s death for the investigation. In addition, the family attorney, along with the news giant CNN have demanded that the computer hard drives with recorded surveillance footage be released to determine if cameras or data had been altered on the day of incident or afterward. Coleman indicated that the chances are very good that this evidence will finally be released to investigators.

There has also been significant movement by the Johnson family, who recently filed a $100 million lawsuit that names 38 people they believe were involved in their son’s death and a conspiracy to cover it up. Among those named are a local FBI agent accused of commanding his two sons to attack Kendrick with the help of another LHS student and an unnamed John Doe and Jane Doe.

 

Mo Barnes

"Mo Betta" Maurice "Mo" Barnes is a graduate of Morehouse College and Political Scientist based in Atlanta. Mo is also a Blues musician.

  • Bryant G

    it is unfortunate that Marcus Coleman has yet to provide detailed information to insure that the family is not being lead on a wild goose chase. while I disagree with some of Mrs. Touchton’s style and conclusions. She has provided overwhelming information that makes me believe this was a tragic accident.
    I have found Mr. Coleman’s leadership in this case to be underwhelming and at some points unprofessional and inexcusable.
    The family is absolutely correct in trying to find Justice for their son. But, It is irresponsible for their advocate to reach far out conclusions that seemed to have caused more pain and problems than to provide answers and closure.

    • lottogirl846

      I really don’t see an intelligent young man reaching into a rolled up mat to try and retrieve his shoes, or anything else, and then getting stuck. Don’t forget about the bruises and other marks not consistent with just crawling into supposed mat. Don’t for about the tapes that happened to quit working right after he walked into the gym. I don’t believe it was an accident.

      • Likewaterforchoc

        Not an “accident” by any stretch of the imagination.

        • Weston Preston

          Yet there is zero credible and convincing evidence of a murder. Plenty of young people (and old people) do strange things and end up paying the ultimate price while the rest of us are left shaking our heads. Young people, in particular, have almost zero perspective or lived wisdom and have a stunningly inaccurate view of their own immortality. Risky behavior is a hallmark of adolescence. So while Kendrick’s choice may be viewed as implausible, it’s certainly not unheard of. And with nothing else to establish any crime, those of us who are moored to reality accept his sad fate, and hopefully one day his family and their supporters will too.

  • Likewaterforchoc

    I really want to see how this one unfolds. When I saw this story on the news, I had soooo many questions and there was so many aspects that were just inconclusive.

    • http://www.thelionstale.com Rudwaan

      cases such as these are more than the face value, they are indicators of where we are in race relations in this country, there exists a glaring wound in the racial relationship between Blacks and Whites globally, cases such as these remind us of the abuse of power Whites have tended to engage in over us, from the overt plantation days to the scourged Jim Crow era, we BLACKS know that Mumia Abu Jamal is where he is because of that abuse of judicial power, we know that Assata Shakur is hunted like an animal because of that abuse, we know Troy Davis was unjustly executed, there exists far too many Black men and women in the prison industrial complex because of that continued abuse of power, even POTUS Barrack Obama is not exempt from the abuse of political and White public power, we are reminded of the Tuskegee experiment and to this day Black men are very skeptical about going to the doctor, in all areas of people activity there exists an abundance of abuse to Black people by the White power elites, we simply do not trust the word of Whites and rightly so. Even if we saw a video tape of that young man crawling into a mat some of us will likely postulate that it is due to mind control, that is how deep the dis-trust is, cases as such merely highlight the elephant in the room that we refuse to articulate.

  • faketony

    I was embarrassed for Marcus Coleman and Ali Rashad Richey when Leigh Touchton called into Richey`s talk show to be interviewed this week.

    Still, Touchton remained gracious as the two harangued and harassed her as she tried explain the findings of her investigation.

    This is how they treat woman? These men would talk to their mothers this way? More than a few times I heard the missive, ‘stupid” launched at Mrs. Touchton.

    There can be no justice for KJ by doing an injustice to the innocent.

    • Weston Preston

      What this family is demonstrating right now is more reprehensible than a mere lust for riches or greed. This is sheer arrogance, hatred and complete contempt for the innocent people they and their representatives are throwing under the proverbial bus. They care not a bit that they are disrupting and possibly ruining lives. They are so angry that they are lashing out with no concern for the consequences being experienced by people who sadly had the misfortune to be handling this case or attend the same school as Kendrick.

  • Margherite Angie ItsMarg

    Thanks for your work.

  • AND THEN THERE WAS ONE!!🔥

    Am so lost. How is it that you fall into a rolled up mat? I think ok you fall in and the mat should open up not trap you. Then it said his shoes was on top of him. It’s too many different stories.

  • AND THEN THERE WAS ONE!!🔥

    His organs were removed and out dated newspaper was put in. When they started doing that? That doesn’t make any sense.