The massive protests taking place worldwide in wake of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis have led to a petition calling for an investigation into the death of Kendrick Johnson to be reopened, according to The Grio.
Johnson, who was a 17-year-old high school sophomore, was found rolled up in a gym mat at Lowndes High School gymnasium on Jan. 11, 2013. State and local officials ruled that Johnson suffocated after purportedly reaching for a pair of sneakers inside the mat and getting stuck.
The petition, titled Reopen Kendrick Johnson’s Case #J4Kendrick, has garnered more than 1.2 million signatures. It states that Johnson’s popularity made him a target of envy among his peers and that the son of a retired FBI agent admitted to killing Johnson over a girl that they both liked.
“Johnson was an honor roll student and well-known athletic all around the school, which had caused him to gain a lot of attention, especially from females. However, one day Kendrick Johnson’s popularity began to make people jealous, which was when he had got into an argument with Brian Bell, who was a student at Valdosta High School along with KJ. Both Kendrick Johnson and Brian Bell constantly argued with each other over Brian Bell found out that his girlfriend, who was Taylor Eakin, was having a sexual affair with Kendrick Johnson. There were two confession statements floating around, which made national news,” reads the petition.
It continues: “Both Brian Bell and Ryan Hall, who is Brian Bell’s friend, had met Kendrick Johnson in the gym and then Brian Bell killed Kendrick Johnson. Brian Bell has also stated that he killed Kendrick Johnson multiple times over the phone. Brandon Bell, who is both a student at Valdosta High School and the brother of Brian Bell, had got drunk at a party on July 4 of 2013 and told people that Brian Bell killed Kendrick Johnson. The second statement was about Ryan Anthony Domek-Hernandez, who is a friend of Branden Bell, side of the story, which said that when he went to Branden Bell’s apartment in Florida, Branden Bell had told him that Brian Bell killed Kendrick Johnson by striking his neck with a 45 pound weight/dumbbell after they began arguing over Taylon Eakin.”
The attorney representing the family of Floyd, Benjamin Crump, brought attention to the petition.
“What happened to #KendrickJohnson in 2012 is HORRIFIC, yet his killer was never held accountable. Please sign this petition & spread the word that federal authorities need to reopen this case, so Kendrick & his family can get the justice they deserve!”
What happened to #KendrickJohnson in 2012 is HORRIFIC, yet his killer was never held accountable. Please sign this petition & spread the word that federal authorities need to reopen this case, so Kendrick & his family can get the justice they deserve!! https://t.co/7ORW7ugLCn pic.twitter.com/9HUakxR0Gb
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) June 6, 2020
Kim Kardashian West was also supportive of the petition and asked her 65.5 million Twitter followers to sign the petition.
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) June 6, 2020