Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office did a lousy job of investigating Kendrick Johnson’s death

January 11, 2014

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Good morning:

Kendrick Johnson’s body was discovered in a rolled-up mat in the Old Gym at Lowndes High School in Valdosta, Georgia one year ago today. The Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office concluded that he died accidentally in an upside down position stuck inside a rolled-up gym mat while attempting to retrieve an athletic shoe. I do not agree with their conclusion.

The Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office failed to conduct a competent professional investigation. They should have identified, contacted and separately interviewed all potential witnesses within 24 hours after Kendrick’s body was discovered. This is a basic requirement that every homicide investigator knows because witnesses absolutely must be interviewed while their memories are fresh before they become polluted by information obtained from the media or conversations with others.

There are no exceptions to this rule unless a witness cannot be located.

The first responders and the paramedic who noticed bruising on Kendrick’s jaw and considered the gym to be a crime scene should have been interviewed as soon as possible, but they were not interviewed until April 17 and 18, more than 3 months after Kendrick’s body was discovered. The janitors who cleaned the gym after the police finished their investigation at the scene were not contacted and interviewed until April 26th.

Victor Blackwell of CNN reports,

CNN examined the 522-page police file and found that investigators spoke to 111 people. Eighteen of those interviews occurred the day Johnson’s body was found, and another 15 people were interviewed later that month. Investigators then spoke to five more people in February and March before conducting interviews with 72 people in April, about the time media coverage of Johnson’s death gained momentum. One person was interviewed in May, according to the investigative file.

I can only imagine how frustrated and disgusted the FBI must be right now with the way the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation. They certainly should have known better and their failure to carry out their responsibilities in a competent and professional manner suggests at best incompetence and at worst participation in a conspiracy to cover-up a homicide.

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This is our 847th post in 26 months.

We received one donation yesterday for $25 for which we are very grateful, but we had 807 visitors to the site and 1,459 page views. This sort of response to requests for donations is extremely frustrating and depressing. I realize it’s easy to assume others will step in and contribute, but that type of thinking doesn’t work when everyone does it. We’re not trying to get rich here, but this just isn’t working out for us.

Fred


Police suppressed coroner’s report criticizing police investigation in Kendrick Johnson death

November 8, 2013

Friday, November 8, 2013

Good afternoon:

Victor Blackwell of CNN reported late last night that the original Coroner’s report regarding Kendrick Johnson’s death was extremely critical of the police investigation. In his January 22nd report, Lowndes County Coroner Bill Watson wrote:

“I was not notifedi n (sic) this death until 15:45 hours. The investigative climate was very poor to worse when I arrived on the scene. The body had been noticably (sic) moved. The scene had been compromised and there was no cooperation from law enforcement at the scene. Furthermore the integrity of the evidence bag was compromised on January 13, 2013 by opening the sealed bag and exhibiting the dead body to his father.”

“I do not approve of the manner this case was handled. Not only was the scene compromised, the body was moved. The integrrety (sic) was breached by opening a sealed body bag, information necessary for my lawful investigation was withheld.”

Blackwell received a copy of this report recently from the coroner’s office in response to a public records request.

In May he was provided with a different version of this report by the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office. The critical language in the original was omitted and the report was not signed or dated.

Neither the sheriff nor the coroner will answer questions about the two reports.

This is our 751st post. Please consider making a donation today.

Donations have been lagging and we need your help to maintain this website.

Thank you,

Fred


New information revealed in Kendrick Johnson case

October 29, 2013

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Good morning:

I have new information to report in the Kendrick Johnson case.

CBS Atlanta hosted a show yesterday called Powertalk with Mrs. Lorraine Jacques-White reporting. Attorney Benjamin Crump called in to the show to report new developments in the investigation of Kendrick’s death.

He said Kendrick had been dating a white girl at the school in 2011. He got into a fight with a white boy at the school and apparently won the fight. Although the article does not say what the fight was about, I get the impression that it may have had something to do with Kendrick dating the white girl.

The white boy was unwilling to let the matter drop and challenged him to another fight to take place at the white boy’s house. Kendrick declined.

The white boy’s father or mother may be a police official.

Kendrick’s death occurred not long after that.

This report is similar to information provided by a commenter here several weeks ago when I first wrote about this case. The person said Kendrick was dating a white girl who had been dating the son of the Sheriff of Lowndes County.

I do not yet consider this information to be established fact. I am going to need more verification.

I certainly do not believe he crawled down the tube opening in the mat to retrieve his athletic shoe, got stuck and asphyxiated by accident. That story is ridiculous.

However, if this new information is true, it could explain who killed Kendrick, why he killed him, and why the murder was covered up. I doubt the kid with the grudge and score to settle acted alone.

Hopefully, Benjamin Crump will solve this mystery soon.

I am not buying the school district’s argument that the videos from the CCTV cameras do not show anything because none of the cameras were aimed at the mat in which Kendrick’s body was found, but they cannot release the videos to confirm that claim because other students appear in them and they have not consented for the videos to be released.

There are ways to ghost out faces, so identities can be protected.

Lowndes County is looking incredibly corrupt and not doing well in the court of public opinion.

Time to stop playing hide-the-ball and let the chips fall where they may.


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