No Charges in Kendrick Johnson Case
The Department of Justice has concluded that no charges will be filed in the death of a 17-year-old Black Georgia teen who was found dead in a rolled up gym mat in Jan. 2013.
The department cited “insufficient evidence to support federal criminal charges” in the death of Kendrick Johnson. Johnson’s family met with the U.S. Department of Justice in Macon to hear their findings on the case Monday.
Johnson’s family believes he was murdered. Investigators in Valdosta, GA called the incident an accident.
In July, federal authorities seized cellphones, computers and other electronics from Johnson’s classmates as evidence in the investigation. Investigators interviewed nearly 100 people, reviewed “tens of thousands of emails and text messages,” and surveillance video from the school over the course of the investigation.
11 Alive reports that U.S. Attorney Michael Moore was heading up the investigation, but the case was passed to federal prosecutors in Ohio after Moore left his post in Macon last year.
Johnson’s family filed a $100 million wrongful death suit shortly after he died. The lawsuit names 39 defendants, including Brian Bell who was Johnson’s football teammate, Bell’s brother and father, as well as law enforcement and state officials. The family says the aforementioned individuals are covering up the crime.
The suit alleges Bell, who is white, held a grudge against Johnson after a 2011 fight on a team bus. The family has since dropped the lawsuit, but a spokesman said they plan to re-file it against Bell as soon as the federal investigation is complete.