Kendrick Johnson march calls for justice 10 years later

Kendrick Johnson march calls for justice 10 years later
Published: Jan. 7, 2023 at 11:20 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 8, 2023 at 11:36 AM EST
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VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - The Kendrick Johnson case which is now a decade old is still bringing people together, near and far to remember the Lowndes County high school student.

Kendrick was found dead in a gym mat in 2013. Investigators ruled it an accident but his family and other people nationwide believe he was murdered.

High-traffic streets like Norman Drive in Valdosta were blocked off Saturday as people chanted, sang and yelled Kendrick’s name.

Supporters sat down in the streets in front of Lowndes County High School for 10 minutes in...
Supporters sat down in the streets in front of Lowndes County High School for 10 minutes in honor of Kendrick.(walb)

Supporters also sat down in the street in front of Lowndes County High School for 10 minutes to honor the 10 years Kendrick has been gone—all things the family says will keep his name alive.

“But we made Valdosta know who we is ‘cuz ya’ll killed our child out there and it ain’t gonna be okay. It wasn’t okay in 2013 it ain’t going to be okay in 2090,” said Jackie Johnson, Kendrick Johnson’s mom.

Some people like Jonathan Burrs traveled as far as Washington D.C to support the Johnson family as they too said they believe Kendrick was murdered.

10 years ago, Kendrick Johnson was found dead in a gym mat at the old gym of Lowndes County...
10 years ago, Kendrick Johnson was found dead in a gym mat at the old gym of Lowndes County High School.(walb)

“It could have been any one of our children. As long as they are fighting this and I’ve got air in my lungs, I’m right there with them,” Burrs said.

Other mothers who have also lost their sons and daughters told me they were able to relate to Jackie’s story.

“I just know once Kendrick gets justice, I get justice for my daughter Tanelia Boyd as well,” said Trailda Moss a march supporter.

Kendrick’s dad Kenneth Johnson said even though his son’s case was closed again after being reopened by sheriff Ashley Paulk in 2021, he’s still determined to find justice.

Kenneth and Jackie Johnson said they won't stop fighting for justice for their son.
Kenneth and Jackie Johnson said they won't stop fighting for justice for their son.(walb)

“He restarted the statute of limitation for us. Once he opened the investigation and closed it again, the clock started again for us. But we’re going to bring it to light and we’re going to put a lot of pressure on this town,” he said.

Loving, sweet quit, those were just some of the words Barbara English, Kendrick’s grandma best described him as.

“We miss him so much and we celebrate his life and the memories we remember him by,” she said.

Kendrick Johnson march calls for justice 10 years later

As Kendrick Johnson’s case has gotten a lot of national attention, many say they can relate to the tragedy which is why it’s been so easy for them to support the family.

“The Kendrick Johnson case is definitely a reflection of how America does not value black lives. Our children deserve protection,” said Deanna Joseph, a family supporter. “Our children deserve justice and they deserve to be recognized as valuable citizens in our community.”

The Johnson family will continue their list of events leading up to Wednesday, the day that his body was discovered. WALB News 10 will have a half-hour special on the case Wednesday at 5:30.