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Bug #38619 closed:unresolved

Kendrick Johnson racist "Murder" - Valdosta, GA.

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This bug appeared in a news report published by CNN on Oct 13, 2013.
Bug Type:  Other

ONe-sided. Quoted questionable sources. Parents of murder victim claim racism, CNN quotes family, famous civil rights attorney as saying local sheriff lied, Ga. Bureau Investigation lied. CNN didn't explore qualifictions of person who did second autopsy. Former 4-term president (white) of local NAACP Chapter challenges "facts" of CNN story, supports law enforcement, slams boy's family and attorney. Jesse Jackson came to town, Al Sharpton said coming next week. (See letter below of former NAACP president and current Lead Investigator of Valdosta SLCC)

From: Leigh Touchton <leigh.touchton@gmail.com> To: dbyam@nationalactionnetwork.net; Reverend Floyd Rose <floyderose@att.net> Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 4:34 PM Subject: Kendrick Johnson, Valdosta

Dear Sir or Madam:

My name is Leigh Touchton, I am the Lead Investigator for Valdosta SCLC. Rev. Floyd Rose is the President of our organization, his telephone number is 229-444-1938. I am writing this letter in order to share with you what my investigation revealed.

I am told that Rev. Sharpton is planning to return to Valdosta for another rally on behalf of the Kendrick Johnson family, so I would like him to be aware of all the facts of this case. I am firmly convinced that both Attorney Chevene King and Kenneth Johnson, the father of Kendrick, are lying about this case.

As a civil rights activist (4 times elected president of the Valdosta NAACP) I am experienced in conducting interviews, writing open records requests, meeting with public officials. Attorney Chevene King and Kenneth Johnson asked for my assistance in this case in April at what was supposed to have been a candlelight vigil, but it turned into a rally. In July, I was on a conference call with Attorney King and Mr. Johnson and when I followed up on their statements, I became utterly convinced that they are lying about aspects of this case in order to gull the public into donating money to them.

Attorney King told me in July on a conference call that he had the second autopsy results but could not release it because the GBI still needed to release toxicology results and that the GBI was "stonewalling" them and that they needed money for legal filings to compel the GBI to release the toxicology results. A follow-up phone call to the GBI resulted in a Valdosta Today news report in which the GBI spokesperson said that everything had been released to the Johnson family attorney and that they had absolutely nothing to do with the second autopsy. As you know, the second autopsy was conducted the first part of June, but the results were not released to the public until the first part of September.

After the second autopsy was made public, I made phonecalls and wrote open records requests to the two Medical Examiners' offices in Florida where Dr. William Anderson used to work. There are many public allegations of ethical violations surrounding his departure from the Orlando office, and many troubling public statements surrounding his private work, e.g. the Esdale case. Dr. Anderson's autopsy was not peer reviewed, unlike that of the GBI medical examiner, Dr. Maryanne Gaffney-Kraft. The lack of professional reputation, as well as a communication to Valdosta Today in which Dr. Anderson absolutely made it clear that he does not understand positional asphyxia and does not know the correct diagnosis of such, inclines me to disbelieve his findings. Additionally, the blunt force trauma diagnosis was nebulous, "very very likely intentional" and yet he did not find any signs of defensive wounds on the child's arms, nor bruises to indicate that the body had been moved after death.

I spent hours at the Valdosta Crime Lab talking to forensic specialists about the blood and forensic tests in general. Kendrick's blood was not found in any other part of the school, and the blood on the wall was too old to have been associated with this case. They swabbed it, DNA tested it, it was not Kendrick's, they ran it through CODIS, they did not get a hit. They did not test all 3,000 students at Lowndes High School. Your attorneys at NAN can probably advise you on why it would have been impossible to get a judge's permission to do that. The red substance on the shoe that Kenneth Johnson said publicly was blood and was evidence of lack of due diligence re: the investigation is NOT BLOOD. It was tested and it simply isn't blood. Investigators think it's paint. For someone to get on national media and claim a shoe that has paint on it is indicative of a botched investigation stretches credulity and makes me more convinced that the attorney and the parents are only interested in sensationalizing this case, not publicizing the truth.

I stood outside the cadaver storage unit and interviewed Barry Funck, the director of the Valdosta Crime lab and asked him point blank about the allegation from Kenneth Johnson that the drawer was kept too warm in order to cause evidence to decompose. He told me about the alarms that would go off if the temperature got too high or too low, and other forensic personnel have offices right outside the unit. Nothing like that happened. Valdosta Crime Lab has one of the highest accreditation ratings possible, and is seeking an even higher one. At the time, there were 13 people working there, 2 worked for the Sheriff and 11 worked for the city.

I toured the gym at the high school and spoke to school officials and one school resource officer. The videotapes have been viewed by law enforcement as well as school officials. The hard drives have been entered into evidence. Everyone tells the same story: Kendrick is last seen on videotape running in the direction of the mats, he is never seen on any school camera again. The boy that Kenneth Johnson told me he believes is involved in Kendrick's death was on the other side of the school when Kendrick went missing. There are cameras at both the entrance and exit to the gym. No videotape records any assault, nor any dragging of what appears to be a body out of store room or bathroom, nor any unrolling and then rolling of a mat. Attorney King and the Johnson family have been told the same things I have, additionally, they have been invited to come in and do what is called an "in camera" inspection of the videotape which Chevene King has not found time to do in 9 months. I have met with both the school attorney and the sheriff's attorney, more than once and both men tell me that a federal law called FERPA prohibits them from releasing videotape with children's faces visible, and that a judge's ruling is required. They have told this to Chevene King repeatedly, and he has refused to seek ruling from a judge. However, in mid-July, he told me that the school was "stonewalling" and refusing to release this videotape and he needed money to make legal filings to compel them to release the video. This is simply not true. As a result, the school attorney and the sheriff's attorney went ahead and set up a hearing in front of a judge and it is slated for the end of this month.

I have additional reasons to suspect that the family is not telling the truth. I'd be glad to talk to you or anyone with National Action Network.


Leigh Touchton, Lead Investigator

Valdosta SCLC

610 Mack Drive

Valdosta, GA 31602








Bug History

Oct 17, 2013 10:59 am Open Mike Hill
Oct 22, 2013 2:51 am Open: Under Discussion TonyViet
Jan 01, 2014 9:03 am Closed: Unresolved admin

Discussion Leave a comment


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Oct 22, 2013 2:51 am

Not one mention of why are all of the boys organs are missing. Mmmmm.

Nov 01, 2013 5:33 am