Petition Closed
Petitioning Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department

Justice for Kendrick Johnson: Full, thorough investigation of K.J.'s death


Our reason for making this demand is is primarily two-fold. First, we believe that the official position of calling Mr. Kendrick Johnson's death an accident one day after his remains were found but prior to an autopsy being completed was premature. To announce to the press such a conclusion so soon after the discovery of Mr. Johnson’s body and to base it upon several highly questionable assumptions, compels us to call into question your accidental death theory. Secondly, on April 18, 2013 the Lowndes County Coroner Bill Watson, further discredited the investigation by stating that the investigatory findings were premature and that the scene where the body was discovered had been greatly compromised.

Furthermore, we believe that the absence of information, in combination with what should have been the scale of this investigation, raises serious concerns about the objectivity and competency of those involved in this investigation. Hence, to the extent that this investigation has been at all times been under the control of the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office, we, once again, are compelled to demand that your department withdraw its involvement immediately and to place it under the control of another law enforcement agency, either state or federal.

Letter to
Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department
April 24, 2013

We come to you as a coalition of civil rights organizations, faith-based leaders, students,community groups, and parents standing in solidarity with the family of Mr. Kendrick Johnson. As you are well aware, there has been public outcry about events leading up to and the subsequent investigation of, the death of Mr. Kendrick Johnson. We are writing you this letter
to demand that your office relinquish control of the investigation of Kendrick Johnson's death to a state or federal investigatory agency immediately. We further demand that these actions be taken no later than Wednesday April 24, 2013 at 5:59PM EST.

Our reason for making this demand is primarily two-fold. First, we believe that your official position of calling Mr. Kendrick Johnson's death an accident one day after his remains were found but prior to an autopsy being completed was premature. To announce to the press such a conclusion so soon after the discovery of Mr. Johnson’s body and to base it upon several highly questionable assumptions, compels us to call into question your accidental
death theory. Secondly, on April 18, 2013 the Lowndes County Coroner Bill Watson, further discredited the investigation by stating that your investigatory findings were premature and that the scene where the body was discovered had been greatly compromised.

Furthermore, we believe that the absence of information, in combination with what should have been the scale of this investigation, raises serious concerns about the objectivity and competency of those involved in this investigation. Hence, to the extent that this investigation has been at
all times been under the control of the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office, we, once again, are compelled to demand that your department withdraw its involvement immediately and to place it under the control of another law enforcement agency, either state or federal.

Lastly, we are advised that on April 19, 2013, a similar demand was placed upon you by the attorney representing the Johnson Family. As you were advised at that time, the urgency of the foregoing demand is not only based upon the gravity of the matter being investigated, but more
importantly, because of the fact that the summer vacation for Lowndes County High students is quickly approaching. Accordingly, the opportunity to have meaningful access to potential witnesses coming from within and amongst the student body and staff will soon be lost. In our
opinion, this access is critical and thus a major component of the investigation, particularly since Mr. Kendrick Johnson went missing during school hours and his remains found on the premises
of Lowndes County High School.

In short, we cannot delay justice any longer. Justice must come in the form of a full, thorough, and impartial investigation. Your office has a biased view and an independent third party has acknowledged error on the part of your office. Thus your office must relinquish control immediately. We thank you for your prompt consideration and response in this matter.

Coalition Partners in Solidarity with Mr. Kendrick L. Johnson

Valdosta State NAACP
Georgia State Conference NAACP
National Action Network, DeKalb County
National Action Network Macon Chapter
Chapel Assistants Program, Morehouse College
Cc:
Georgia Bureau of Investigation
Department of Justice

National Action Network Savannah Chapter
Morehouse NAACP
Valdosta-Lowndes County SCLC
National Action Network Atlanta Chapter
National Action Network Youth Move