Atlanta (WAOK) — A rally was held Wednesday at the Georgia state Capitol for Kendrick Johnson, a Valdosta, Georgia teen that was found dead in his high school gymnasium last January. Johnson’s body had been wrapped in a wrestling mat.
The rally, titled “Who Killed K.J.?”, hosted by CBS Radio Atlanta’s Derrick Boazman, featured a number of speakers concerned with the accidental death ruling from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Lowndes County Sheriff. Members of Valdosta State University’s NAACP, BET’s Cousin Jeff, Martin Luther King III, and Johnson family attorney Benjamin Crump were among the near dozen speakers at the rally. Johnson’s father, Kenneth Johnson, was also among the speakers. Rev. Al Sharpton and Rev. Joseph Lowery were slated to speak but were not in attendance.
Johnson was found dead on January 11th, rolled up in a gymnasium wrestling mat. An initial autopsy performed by the Lowndes County Coroner concluded that Johnson died in a freak accident, falling headfirst into an upright mat and becoming trapped while searching for his tennis shoe. Less than 24 hours later, Lowndes County Sheriff Chris Prine said that his department found no evidence of foul play. Months later, after an inquest by Johnson’s parents, a second autopsy was performed by an outside coroner. This coroner found that Kendrick Johnson had died of blunt force trauma and not suffocation, while also finding that Johnson’s fingernails, trachea and vital internal organs including his brain had been taken. He had also been stuffed with newspaper.
Written by Sherman H. Smith JR
Click links below to listen to clips from the rally