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No Charges Filed: Feds Determine No Foul Play In Kendrick Johnson’s Acidental Death

Gavel, symbol of judicial decisions and justiceOne controversial case from Georgia that’s been ongoing for about three years looks to finally be coming to a conclusion. According to the Huffington Post, local, state, and federal authorities have deemed the extensively covered death of Kendrick Johnson, a 17-year-old black teenager who attended Lowndes High School in Valdosta, to be accidental and will not file any charges.

The incident occurred in January 2013. Johnson was found dead in a rolled-up, upright wrestling mat. Authorities believe he was attempting to retrieve a pair of shoes he had stashed there for safekeeping in lieu of paying for a locker. While there was no direct evidence of any foul play, Johnson’s parents were adamant throughout the process that their son had been the victim of racially charged harassment.

“”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,” a statement from the Justice Department said, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “Accordingly, the investigation into this incident has been closed without the filing of federal criminal charges.”

Johnson’s parents, presumably grief-stricken and desperate for justice, reportedly believed that two white brothers had been involved in the death of their son. The unusual circumstances surrounding the teen’s death bred conspiracy theories, especially when it was found that the father of the brothers implicated by Johnson’s parents was an FBI agent.

Video surveillance evidence and witness testimony later cleared the students’ names; one was found to be on a bus traveling to a wrestling tournament and the other one in class at the time of Johnson’s death.

Approximately 62% of kids play organized sports in order to interact with friends, which makes Johnson’s involvement in wrestling — and his subsequent death — even more tragic.