Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

June 30, 2013

Rally, march held for Johnson

VALDOSTA — Over 100 supporters gathered on Saturday afternoon to march and rally in search of justice for Kendrick Johnson.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) hosted the rally and march, with special attendance from Edward DuBose, president of the Georgia State Conference NAACP, as well as members of NAACP Unit 5227 Pierce County out of Blackshear.

Supporters began the rally by marching around the Lowndes County Judicial/Administrative complex seven times. The decision to walk around seven times was symbolic of the Israelites destroying the wall of Jericho after walking around it for seven days. The large train of people, led by Kendrick Johnson’s family, chanted words of support including, “No justice, no peace,” and “What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now.”

Following the march, everyone gathered at the steps of the complex to listen to several motivational speakers. Speakers for the event included DuBose; Chevene King, the Johnsons’ attorney;  Kendrick Johnson’s parents; Bobby Worthy, President and CEO of the Justice League United; and Larry Lockey, NAACP Coordinator of District 15 and 18.

King addressed the crowd saying, “Those who have gathered here today are here to say KJ will not be ignored.” He spoke of the second autopsy results as well saying, “We must remain vigilant, patient and ever faithful that this autopsy is going to solve another piece of the puzzle.”

Kendrick’s father spoke to the crowd saying, “We all just talk, talk, talk, but now it’s time to stand up and fight. We, as people, will kill each other for stepping on each other’s sneaker, but when it’s time to step up we want to shut our mouth. We want to do all of these evil things to one another, but then when someone threatens our jobs or threatens to put us in jail we shut up. We’re gonna stand up. I’ll give my life for mine. I don’t know what you’ll do for yours, but I am giving my life for mine.”

Many speakers cited the words of Martin Luther King Jr.  DuBose, however, cited another significant African-American man.

“I didn’t come in the words of Dr. King, though I respect him. I came in the words of Malcolm X, and if we are going to win this fight, it’s going to be ‘by any means necessary.’” He also said of the case of Johnson, “You may have killed KJ, but you didn’t kill his dream. You may have killed KJ but all you have done is brought a community together that is real and right for justice.”

In January, Kendrick Johnson, 17, was found dead in the old Lowndes High gymnasium on the school campus. Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office proclaimed no foul play in the case on the same day as the teen’s body was discovered.

The Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office and Georgia Bureau of Investigation concluded that Johnson was alone in the gym, reached for a loose shoe and became trapped in a rolled-up wrestling-type mat, and died from being upside down for an extended period of time.

The state’s autopsy confirmed these findings and concluded the death was accidental. The Johnson family has not agreed with the findings and has continued rallying outside of the Lowndes County Judicial Complex in the weeks since the autopsy was returned.

Earlier this month, a court order allowed the Johnsons to exhume their son’s body for a second autopsy. Kendrick Johnson’s body was exhumed from Sunset Hill Cemetery; the second autopsy results are pending

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 140415-water003.jpg Sewage problems persist

    Early Tuesday morning, Valdosta became saturated when the area received approximately three inches of rain from 4 a.m. to noon. As of 3 p.m. Tuesday, 11 manholes throughout the City of Valdosta have spilled 286,500 gallons of wastewater into local waterways, and this number will continue to rise.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • vsuopera1dido.jpg Operatic Conclusion

    When the curtain lowers this weekend on Valdosta State University Opera’s performance of Henry Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas,” it will not only mark the end of the music group’s season.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • ‘If I Were Mayor’ contest essays

    If I were mayor, I would do all that I possibly can to make the city of Valdosta marvelous, but I cannot do it on my own. Some things in Valdosta I feel it is necessary to focus on would be our literacy rate, unemployment rate, crime history, and our environment.

    April 16, 2014

  • APTOPIX Boston Marath_Stew.jpg Solemn tributes mark Boston Marathon bombing

    Survivors, first responders and relatives of those killed in the Boston Marathon bombing marked the anniversary Tuesday with tributes that combined sorrow over the loss of innocent victims with pride over the city’s resilience in the face of a terror attack.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140414-valdostaboe001 copy.jpg Valdosta Board of Education reviews finances

    Valdosta City Schools Board of Education celebrated many successes Monday night, discussed budget information and heard an announcement of intent from a hopeful charter school.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • dancing with the stars copy.jpg Dancing with Valdosta Stars raises scholarship money

    Valdosta State University Music and Theatre & Dance’s Third Annual Dancing with the Stars of Valdosta presented a fine dance show this past weekend.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • N0041120.jpg Passover: A nation reborn

    “And you shall tell your children that on that day the Lord has took you out from the house of bondage.” — The Passover Hagadah

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140414-DFCS001.jpg Luncheon recognizes DFACS employees

    Dozens of Lowndes County Division of Family and Children Services employees gathered Monday at Olympic Park for a barbecue lunch in recognition of their hard work.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140414-Sewage002.jpg Fla. calls for Valdosta boycott

    Florida residents are calling for a boycott of Valdosta regarding the sewage spills, with areas affected downstream increasingly distressed over the millions of gallons that have polluted the waters of the Withlacoochee and the Suwannee River Basin during the last several years.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • police-lights-backgrounds-for-powerpoint.jpg ‘Dangerous’ fugitive caught

    A fugitive from Ohio wanted for attempted murder and a number of assault and robbery charges was captured by Valdosta police Saturday.

    April 14, 2014 2 Photos

Top News
Poll

What you think about school and workplace rules about Facebook friends?

There have to be rules.
No need for rules, just use common sense.
If people want to be friends, what is the big deal?
Nobody uses Facebook anymore.
     View Results