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Online petition starts to reopen Kendrick Johnson case

Updated: Jun. 8, 2020 at 6:36 PM EDT
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VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - After protests have happened across the country for over a week now in response to George Floyd's death, protestors have demanded reopening of other cases that they believe have been overlooked by the justice system.

This has sparked celebrities to join in the fight. One even tweeted about the Kendrick “KJ” Johnson case, a prominent case in South Georgia.

“Just keep letting people know, about Kendrick Johnson. Keep doing what they’re doing, keep pushing his name. We know wrong was done,” Kenneth Johnson, Kendrick’s father, said.

Celebrities like Kim Kardashian are joining in the fight for justice, tweeting a link to an online petition to reopen Johnson’s case. So far, there are over 1.06 million signatures. The goal is 1.5 million. The hashtag “J4Kendrick” is also being used on social media to spread awareness.

“I thank them very much for seeing that there is injustice in my son’s case. Some came out and I have some more coming out to help push my son’s case. I really appreciate the help they have given us,” said Johnson.

Kendrick’s body was found rolled up in a gym mat at Lowndes High School in 2013. His death was initially ruled accidental. A third autopsy found the cause of death was blunt force trauma.

The question here is will this petition make for the reopening of the case?

WALB spoke to a lawyer on Monday who said a case can not be reopened unless there is evidence that can significantly develop and make for new findings.

WALB asked Kenneth Johnson about new developments in his son’s case.

"There are several things in motion but I just can’t speak on it right now,” he said.

Over the last week, protestors in downtown Valdosta were not only gathering in response to Floyd’s death, but also for KJ.

Jackie Johnson, Kendrick’s mother, was among those.

“I stand flat-footed on what I say, we demand justice and enough is enough,” said Jackie Johnson.

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