One of the things that lingers most when people pass away is the unknown. What were they thinking? Did they know how loved they were? What would they have done differently? But some aren’t even fortunate enough to get the answer as to what happened when their loved one passed away, much like the family of Kendrick Johnson.
Johnson was found dead in January of 2013 wrapped around a wrestling mat in his Valdosta, GA high school. Local authorities considered the death an accident and closed their investigation within four months, but Johnson’s family feels that he was murdered and even speculated that it was the result of his rivalry with a teammate from the school’s football team lashing out.
Johnson’s family then filed a $100 million wrongful death lawsuit with 39 defendants including both students and law enforcement officials, according to the New York Daily News. The U.S. Department of Justice has announced that no federal charges will be brought in the case.
“After extensive investigation into this tragic event, federal investigators determined that there is insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that someone or some group of people willfully violated Kendrick Johnson’s civil rights or committed any other prosecutable federal crime,” Justice Department officials said in a statement. “Accordingly, the investigation into this incident has been closed without the filing of federal criminal charges.”
The family is reportedly still considering a civil suit to find out what happened to their son and find someone to hold responsible.
“The Department of Justice, in particular the lawyers and investigators who have worked tirelessly on this investigation, express their most sincere condolences to Kendrick Johnson’s parents, family, and friends,” Acting United States Attorney Carole Rendon said Monday in a statement. “We regret that we were unable to provide them with more definitive answers about Kendrick’s tragic death.”
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