The family of Kendrick Johnson, the 17-year-old high school student who was found dead in a rolled-up wrestling mat at his high school in 2013 has filed a $1 billion lawsuit against the Georgia Bureau of investigations. and the Lowndes County Sheriff’s department. On Tuesday the Johnson family announced that they were taking legal recourse against the GBI for falsifying the circumstances surrounding the teen’s death.
After a second, local investigation into the death of Kendrick Johnson was officially closed with no charges or arrests, nearly ten years after his body was discovered rolled-up inside of a gym mat, concluded his death was a freak accident,
Johnson’s parents however have long insisted that someone killed their son and that school officials and law enforcement covered up the crime.
“They killed the wrong child, but they got the right parents because we are going to continue to fight for Kendrick,” Jackie, Johnson’s mother, said in a statement.
Johnson’s body was found on Jan. 11 in South Georgia. Investigators from the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office said he died in a freak accident, saying that he fell headfirst into an upright mat and was trapped.
At the time, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Chief Medical Examiner said the death was an accident.
“We have not had faith in Lowndes County,” Kendrick’s father, Kenneth Johnson said in an interview. “We knew what the outcome would be from the very beginning.”
As part of their concerns, the Johnsons claim that their son’s body was “butchered” and “mutilated” by a medical examiner with the Georgia Bureau of Investigators during his autopsy.
The DOJ eventually closed its investigation into Johnson’s death.
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