Community hosts balloon release for Kendrick Johnson 10 years after his death

10 years after his death at Lowndes High, family and community members remembered Kendrick Johnson through a balloon release
Published: Jan. 10, 2023 at 6:55 PM EST
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - The family of Kendrick Johnson is honoring and remembering him. Tuesday marks 10 years since Kendrick died. He was found rolled up in a gym mat at Lowndes High School the next day.

Kendrick Johnson’s family and several friends gathered and held a balloon release honoring their loved one who they believe was murdered 10 years ago.

The Johnson family says they will continue to celebrate their loved one each and every year. They say they will make sure his name stays alive. When asking what’s one thing they want to say to Kendrick 10 years later, here are some of the responses WALB received.

“Kendrick, I love you and I miss you so much. You know your mom has always been a fighter and she will never let your name go down in vain. So when your murder is acknowledged, and people are held accountable, I’m going to still be fighting for your soul,” Jackie Johnson, Kendrick’s mother, said.

“10 years later, I still miss you. We gone continue to fight until we receive justice, and even after we still gone continue to fight. Like my mama said, they killed the wrong kid. We ain’t gone never stop,” Kenyetta Johnson, sister of Kendrick, said.

The Johnson family does not believe Kendrick's death was an accident, and do indeed believe he...
The Johnson family does not believe Kendrick's death was an accident, and do indeed believe he was murdered. The shirt a family member is wearing says "Kendrick Johnson didn't roll himself up into no mat."(Source: WALB)

Instead of calling Tuesday an anniversary, the Johnsons call it his “angelversary” to commemorate the day he became their angel.

“My life is not the same and it will never be the same. This has changed me drastically. I would have never thought in a million years that I would be a mother of a murdered child. Look at life so differently in another set of eyes now. 2013 my life stopped and restarted,” Jackie Johnson said.

His mother says this week has been hard, but she’s a fighter. So nothing could have stopped her from celebrating the 17 years she did have with her son, and the 10 years he’s been gone.

“His life mattered then, and it still matters now. I’m hurt, I’m angry, I’m sad, I mean my emotions are all over the place right now. You don’t know whether to smile, you don’t know whether to cry, it’s a lot. I am doing this to make sure there’s never another Kendrick Johnson situation,” Jackie said.

The family of Johnson has held several events for the last five days honoring the life of their loved one.

On Wednesday on WALB News 10 at 5:30, WALB will be airing a 30 minute special about the Kendrick Johnson case and where the case stands today.