Florida-based youth advocacy group, Dream Defenders, released a video today regarding the death of 17-year-old Georgia teen Kendrick Johnson. Johnson was found dead in a rolled up wrestling mat in a gym inside the Lowndes High School in Valdosta, sparking a series of unanswered questions from his parents and supporters. The Dream Defenders have compiled a video titled “#JusticeForKJ” which aims to reveal a new angle to the curious case.
Tomorrow, a rally will be held on the Georgia Capitol steps featuring a bevy of civil rights activists and speakers including Rev. Al Sharpton, Martin Luther King III, Dr. Joseph Lowery and many more. The Dream Defenders video serves a precursor for the “Who Killed KJ” rally, and features exclusive interviews with Johnson’s parents, Jacquelyn and Kenneth Johnson and others in the Valdosta community.
The Dream Defenders, who work primarily with Black and Latino youth in their home state, felt compelled to join with the Johnson family as they continue to fight for the truth regarding what truly happened at the school back in January. Authorities investigating the case ruled Johnson’s death accidental, a claim attorneys for the family have vehemently decried.
“As Dream Defenders, we recognize that the struggles faced by our generation in the state of Florida are the same struggles faced by youth of color around the country,” said Kevin Banatte, video producer and student at Florida A&M University. “Young people must work together to ensure that future generations don’t suffer the loss of sons, daughters, or friends like Kendrick Johnson.”
“After hearing what happened to Kendrick Johnson, we knew we had to act. This video and the march in Atlanta tomorrow are part of our determination to expose the negligence of local investigators in Valdosta and demand justice,” added DeAndre Jones, who is working with the Justice For KJ campaign.
To learn more about the Justice For KJ campaign, click here.