|Rev. Floyd Rose, Pres. SCLC|
The photo I posted a few days ago of Kendrick Johnson just before his autopsy, and 48 hours after his death, was shown to Rev. Floyd Rose, SCLC President in Valdosta, Georgia. Rev. Rose has only seen the photograph carried on steaks and posted to social media by the Johnson family. He was, I am told, prompted to write this message on his social media page after seeing the more accurate depiction of Kendrick's face:
A (verbatim) message from Rev Floyd Rose, President: Southern- Christian leadership Conference, reprinted here with permission
"A day after Kendrick Johnson's body was found in the old gym at Lowndes High School in early 2013, the grandfather asked me to come to the Johnsons' home. I did..., and I spoke candidly with them. At the time I sincerely thought that their son, KJ, had been the victim of foul play. I helped to organize a rally of more than 1600 people at the Courthouse complex in Valdosta, arranged for two more rallies at Serenity Church, including one with Rev. Al Sharpton, where he raised almost $5,000.00 for the family. We also gave them permission to use the building across the street from Serenity to plan, meet, and greet their supporters.
When members of the Johnson family committed acts of civil disobedience, I put up my personal residence to secure Mrs. Johnson's release on bond. In concert with a Valdosta Businessmen, the Valdosta-Lowndes County chapter of the Southern Christian n Leadership Conference offered a $10,000.00 reward for credible information which would lead to the arrest of the person(s) who might have been responsible for the death of Kendrick Johnson. After 90 days nobody came forward with any credible information, and the check was returned to Roy Taylor, the donor.
The information, by the way, was to be sent to the Johnson's lead attorney, C. B. King, and to Michael Moore, the Federal District Attorney for the southern district of Georgia.
I was stunned while I received a call from Mr. Johnson who angrily protested my offering the reward, and the family never posted a reward, which itself was puzzling, even though they continue to raise money, even after Michael Moore said that he agreed to look into Kendrick's death.
Finally, without any credible evidence, which has yet to be presented, that Kendrick Johnson was murdered, I would have to believe that the coroner, the district attorney, 6 GBI agents, investigators from the sheriff's office, the medical examiner in Atlanta, and Macon, members of the Georgia Investigation Division, and other school personnel, would have to be part of a massive cover-up, that someone, yet unknown, would have hatched, for reasons we don't know, at a time not yet determined.
In the 1950'or 60's, that would have been plausible, but in 2013-14, with facebook, twitter, and other social media, not to mention the whistle blower laws, and the $10,000.000 reward that nobody ever claimed, it is not likely.
While I would never claim to know why the father, nor the mother, is still not working, and they're continuing to raise money, I would never minimize their hurt and grief. But I lost a father, a mother, a brother, and two sisters, but I never stopped working to support my family. Life always goes on.
I just read something today that has not been authenticated which suggest that two pictures of KJ's disfigured face are being shopped around to raise money. I certainly hope that that is not true.
When this all began, I sincerely believed that the family really thought that Kendrick Johnson had been met with foul play, and they simply wanted to know the truth. Then suddenly the emphasis was shifted from "we don't know what happened, but want to know," to "who killed KJ?" and "Who killed our son?" And the lawyer's cry, "These parents sent their son off to school with a book bag, and he was sent back to them in a body bag."
When the FBI concludes its investigation, Michael Moore , based on the evidence alone, make his decision, whether KJ was murdered, or was the victim of a tragic accident, I hope that this family, their supporters, friends, and this community, can return to normal.
Valdosta-Lowndes County chapter
Southern- Christian leadership Conference"
The original investigation by the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office concluded that 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson died by accident while reaching for a shoe inside a rolled up cheerleader mat. The mat was not easily accessible because there were other mats stacked in front of it and these mats are very heavy.