Family Of Kendrick Johnson, Teen Found Dead In Gym Mat, Files $1B Lawsuit

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The family of Kendrick Johnson, the Georgia high school student found dead in a rolled-up wrestling mat, has filed a $1 billion lawsuit against the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Lowndes County Sheriff's Office, The Root reports.

The lawsuit alleges that the agencies released false information and fabricated facts surrounding Johnson's death 10 years ago. Authorities previously said Johnson's body was discovered by his classmates in the Lowndes County High School gym. He was stuck upside down in a gym mat, according to authorities.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation ruled that Johnson died of asphyxia, suffocating while trying to get a shoe. His death certificate and a 2018 autopsy, however, showed that he suffered blunt force trauma to the head and other injuries from what seemed like a Taser.

Johnson's family believes foul play was involved in his death.

“They killed the wrong child, but they got the right parents because we are going to continue to fight for Kendrick,” Jackie, Johnson’s mother, said in a statement.

Brothers Brian and Branden Bell are believed to be the last people who saw Johnson alive. They were initially deemed suspects in Johnson's death but were never charged.

The lawsuit seeks $500,000 in compensatory damages and the other half a billion in punitive damages. The family is also seeking a jury trial.

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