Georgia family files  billion lawsuit over Kendrick Johnson's death, alleging cover-up

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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 they were taking legal action against the GBI for falsifying the circumstances surrounding the teen's death.

After a second local investigation into the death of Kendrick Johnson officially closed without charges or arrests, and nearly a decade after his body was discovered curled up in a gym mat, it has been concluded that his death was a freak accident.

But Johnson's parents 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 will continue to fight for Kendrick,” Jackie, Johnson’s mother, said in a statement.

Johnson's body was found on January 11 in south Georgia. Investigators with the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office said he died in a freak accident, falling headfirst onto an upright mat and becoming trapped.

At the time, the chief medical examiner for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said the death was an accident.


“We had no confidence in Lowndes County,” Kendrick’s father, Kenneth Johnson, said in an interview. “We knew from the start what the result would be.”

As part of their concerns, the Johnsons claim that their son's body was “butchered” and “mutilated” during his autopsy by a Georgia Bureau of Investigators medical examiner.

The DOJ ultimately completed its investigation into Johnson's death.