I've been following this case for a while. Even general and relatively legit news outlets are not posting the clear cut facts on this case. The young man who died is Kendrick Johnson. Now, to be honest, even when I first heard of this as much as I thought it could be an accident I also thought the surrounding circumstances were very weird. A lot of it doesn't add up or appear to make sense. A lot of the news stories out there seem to really mess up the facts or listen more to what the family has to say than what's going on. There are a bunch of youtube videos out there that play this up like a conspiracy against young black men. I even asked my roommate about it (and he usually knows more about this stuff than I do because he pays attention to the news more) and even he agreed the events didn't seem to line up.
Maybe more people know now that it's not an unsolved mystery, or a conspiracy, or coverup, whatever. I didn't know. Since I still see this currently going around as a current ongoing, and race related issue from a lot of people, I wanted to share what I know because I can and maybe that will help. There are sources to everything I'm about to tell you. These are the true facts of the case right here and now. First a summary of what happened for those of you who don't know or haven't heard about this.
Kendrick was a high school student who's body was discovered in a rolled up gym mat in 2013. This was in a high school in Georgia. The parents have since maintained that he was beaten before being rolled up in there and it's not possible that he just "Fell" or "Climbed in" and accidentally died. Around when it happened the family hired Al Sharpton to speak about it and promote it and we all know how well that turned out for Mike Brown and the town of Ferguson. The facts remain that Kendrick died due to a tragic accident and perfectly lined up sequences of events. He wasn't killed then rolled up in the mat. There isn't a conspiracy to "cover up" his death because some white kid killed him. It's tragic but it's an accident. All the sources I have come from this page. It's a long write up but everything the person says has a source to back it. If you don't want to read that long of a write up, this is the general summary. All credit goes to the original author but a lot of people don't want to read something that long even if they want to know the truth.
As I said I don't know how relevant this still is but as I also said I still see people talking about it and being completely incorrect on everything that happened. I also haven't seen news media bend over backwards to clarify anything or dispel rumors. Here's the truth of what happened to Kendrick and WHY people think something totally different happened.
- Kendrick died exactly the way he was claimed to have died. Suffocated and rolled up inside of a gym mat.
- He fell into the gym mat as it was stacked upright (like a tube) in an old gym that was rarely used while trying to get a pair of shoes.
- He was squeezed in there, (upside down/inverted) and compressed. Due to lack of oxygen/body position and inversion the blood rushed to his head. He was unconscious within minutes of getting stuck like this.
- When blood pools to the head/face like that it causes tissues to swell and vessels to burst which resulted in his swollen face. It also resulted in bleeding from the eyes, nose, mouth, and ears. This is all normal for someone who dies this way and remains in this position for nearly a day. This is not proof he was beaten before being stuffed into the mat.
- Rumors spread that the CCTV video has been edited, and that the video that would show Kendrick's death is lost/doesn't exist/whatever. Not true. The family was invited to see videos as proof and repeatedly refused. They can't release these videos due to legal issues.
- One of the pictures the family circulates of Kendrick's face (to 'prove' that he was beaten to death) was taken after his autopsy, not after he was found. One of the family members took this picture themselves, meaning they know that it's a lie but are circulating it anyway.
- The boys that they accused of the crime (and were suspects at one point) all have air tight alibis that cannot be broken. Repeatedly the name Rick Bell comes up (FBI agent) and the theory that his sons killed Kendrick and he covered it up because he was FBI. It's False. One of his sons was a fairly well known friend of Kendrick. Though they'd gotten in a fight once, they reconciled and had even worked on school projects together voluntarily.
- The family has a facebook page set up where they have continued to accuse random people including people that have no connection to the school or their son.
As you can see, everything lines up. Now, there is another weird theory about black market organ trafficking. It's also proved as false in that long write up. Basically, after the first autopsy was performed and it was concluded that he died due to the causes mentioned, he was buried. The family wanted him to be re-examined. They had him dug up and there was a second autopsy performed. This one was done by a doctor with a questionable reputation already. When they opened the body they found him stuffed with newspapers (not his original organs). This has caused a lot of confusion and ignorant questions/theories. One theory being that this young black man was killed specifically for his organs. Not true. First autopsy found all the original organs. They were destroyed before he was embalmed. This is not illegal to do it's just not a common practice. Since they found no signs of foul play, there was no reason to keep the organs around and whatever. Secondly, for some reason, people think that the first autopsy was when they found the newspapers. As if Kendrick was found in the gym mat, already stuffed with newspapers. This is also false.
Conclusion: This isn't a murder done by a white boy and covered up by police for racial reasons. This isn't a murder to get this kids organs and then have a police coverup. This isn't a murder where a white boy beat a black boy and stuffed him into a gym mat. This is a tragic accident with a very weird and specific set of circumstances that can be easily explained if you bother to look for the facts. The family is in denial or (sadly and quite possibly) in this for the money/publicity or they want to start some kind of racially charged incident. Could be all three. Grief does weird things to people but the level the family took this to is uncalled for. One of the accused boys lost a scholarship due to the parents insisting he killed their son. This case is no more than ignorance to what happens to a body when someone dies that way, and the desperate need to make this about something else or blame someone when no one can really be blamed. This is also a case of the family releasing "Facts" and information before there could be a proper investigation. Just like in the cases of Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown. This is yet another case that shows how detrimental social media and the internet can be to perpetuate 'racial injustice' when there absolutely is none because the real facts do not spread as fast as the fake ones. If you hear something like this, anything, and it seems "odd" or nothing is adding up, please, for the love of god, wait for the ACTUAL INVESTIGATION TO CONCLUDE before you jump to the other conclusion of racism/conspiracy first. We'd all be better off if we all did this.