CNN’s Victor Blackwell is reporting that new surveillance video released Wednesday in the case of Kendrick Johnson, a Georgia teen found dead inside a rolled-up gym mat, raises more questions than it answers. Blackwell writes:
“There were 36 cameras inside and outside the gym of Lowndes High School in Valdosta, where the body of Kendrick Johnson was discovered. The video was released as a result of legal action, filed by his family, that CNN joined.
Johnson’s family suspects the 17-year-old was murdered and that someone has tried to cover up evidence in the case.
One clip shows Johnson in the gym. A second shows him walking in, then running out of the frame. In both videos, students suddenly appear.
An attorney for Lowndes County Sheriff Chris Prine said the video was not altered or edited by anyone within the sheriff’s office. An attorney for the school likewise said that what was provided to the sheriff’s office was the raw feed, with no edits.
A third clip, which shows students playing in the gym and the mats where Johnson’s body was found, is blurry.”
Johnson was found dead in a gym at Lowndes County High School in January. State medical examiners concluded that the three-sport athlete suffocated after getting stuck in a rolled-up gym mat while reaching for a sneaker.
A march for justice was held in May by Johnson’s family, friends, and other activists, who believe Johnson was murdered. Johnson’s parents fought the accidental death ruling winning the right to have the body exhumed and examined by an independent coroner. A second autopsy found that Johnson’s organs had been replaced by newspaper, which is unusual. During autopsies, standard procedure is that organs are removed, examined, measured, data is collected and then returned to the body for burial. Johnson’s organs have still not been located.
A federal prosecutor has been assigned to the case.
Read more at CNN.