FBI Video Analysis: “Persons of Interest” not near KJ 

| February 15, 2017

VALDOSTA – Two years before federal investigators ended their review of the Kendrick Johnson case, the Federal Bureau of Investigation concluded that two “persons of interest” were not near the high school student when he was last seen, according to a 2014 FBI video analysis made public this week.

The unclassified but redacted report obtained by ValdostaToday.com is dated Sept. 9, 2014 and contains the FBI’s analysis of Lowndes High School hard drives containing surveillance footage from Jan. 10 and Jan. 11, 2013, including footage that has not been made available to the public.

Analysis of the hard drives was conducted at the FBI Headquarters in Quantico, Va., between July 21 and July 24, 2014, documents stated.

Johnson’s parents have insisted their son was the victim of foul play ever since his body was found upside down in a vertically stored gym mat at Lowndes High School on January 10, 2013.

A state autopsy ruled Johnson’s death accidental, and a federal review of the case ended in 2016 when the Department of Justice announced it had not found “sufficient evidence to support federal criminal charges.”

The Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office determined Johnson died from positional asphyxia after he became stuck, squeezing himself into a rolled up gym mat while reaching down into the mat to retrieve a shoe.

The Johnsons have rejected that conclusion and have made repeated claims their son was murdered by classmates and the incident was covered up by numerous local and state officials.

The FBI analysis report released this week focused on two “persons of interest” whose identities were redacted.

The analysis concluded “the victim (Kendrick Johnson) and both persons of interest were in different areas of the LHS campus during the time in question” and the two persons of interest “were not in the general vicinity of the old gym where Johnson was last seen,” the report stated.

Other FBI conclusions:

  • Johnson had entered the ‘old gym’ area en route to his fourth block class, for which he never arrived
  • The last recorded image of Johnson is when he is seen entering the old gym and running diagonally across the gym floor at 1:27 p.m.
  • One person of interest was located walking along the exterior of the school towards D-Wing at 1:28 p.m.
  • The other person of interest was located in the parking lot headed towards J-Wing at 1:28 p.m.
  • Johnson and the two persons of interest were travelling in opposite directions towards their respective fourth block classes and likely did not cross paths

The surveillance video analysis is the first publicly available document released from the federal investigation of Johnson’s death initiated by former U.S. Attorney Michael Moore in October 2013.

The report identifies the case as an investigation into racial discrimination by force and/or violence. However, the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice declined to investigate the case days before Moore announced his review.

The analysis also concluded discrepancies in video footage time stamps were caused by a combination of issues, including video servers not being centrally located, not being connected to each other and not being manually reset after maintenance. The report also attributed blurry footage and time stamp discrepancies to the age of the systems.

The report did not mention any concerns about the possibility of missing footage or if the video had been tampered with or altered.

Click here to download the full report (PDF)

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7 Comments on "FBI Video Analysis: “Persons of Interest” not near KJ "

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  1. DJ says:

    As my mama said, the truth always comes out. Now we find out that 2 years before the government closed the case in 2016 that the FBI found there was no evidence in 2014? Why wait 2 years to close a case when there was no evidence of a murder in the first place? And the Johnson parents and their attorney Chevene King falsely accused innocent kids!! As this report says, no one was around KJ when he died. The “persons of interest” were seen at exactly the same time in other parts of the school no where near KJ. The report says that the “persons of interest” was outside, one was in the parking lot.

    I think a Judicial hearing needs to be held about this case. How does our government justify spending thousands of dollars without even reviewing school surveillance video to verify the alibis of innocent kids in the first place? No wonder the US Attorneys resigned in this case.

    Shame on the Johnsons, shame on their attorneys, King and Crump, and shame on the US attorneys for opening a BS case full of BS lies and BS conspiracy claims. Kudos to the LCSO and GBI who got it right within months of his death. You didnt waste 3 years of time and tax payers money to get to the same conclusion….accident.

    • Billy Bob says:

      The Federal Investigation confirmed there was foul play involved, this is evidenced by their official statement when they announced the investigation had concluded. The official statement said the investigation had not found sufficient evidence to charge any individuals. That means they did find evidence of wrongdoing, but could not connect it to any one or more individuals. Had they found “no evidence” their statement would have said “no evidence” . Their choice of wording was purposeful and intentional.

      • DJ says:

        After 2 1/2 yrs of FBI, DOJ, 2 grand juries, 100’s of subpoenas to testify and search warrants on innocent people’s homes, I believe if there was evidence, they would have charged someone with something. The DOJ usually will charge someone with making false statements or something just to say that they didn’t waste their time.

        Nothing, nada!! that truly means they found nothing, no murder, no conspiracy, no coverup, no witness tampering, no colusion, no false statements, nothing.

        Billy Bob, go back over to the Johnsons house and let them know you tried to convince everyone that the DOJ found something.
        We are all waiting for the Johnsons to pay back the atty fees that our tax money paid for to defend our school and sheriffs office.

  2. Well me being a parent I would have probably felt the same way.But I wouldn’t have blamed anyone or pointed a finger at another kid unless I known it to be true .But who is to say what one would do at the lost of a child .I feel sorry for his family in that respective.But I’m a little upset that they claimed racism in this case and only pointed out white kids .Even not knowing the facts they shouldn’t have done that and come to find out it was a big waste of tax payers money .To come up with the same conclusion as they did Two years ago.But I still pray for this family because I couldn’t amagine their pain and wouldn’t want to .Rip K.J

  3. will says:

    And the parents will still sit on ashley st. With signs.

    • Hans says:

      Sit out on the street with signs — while collecting money from donations. Suggesting your son is the victim of a racist murder is a good business to be in I suppose 🙁

  4. Yeppers says:

    The Johnsons destroyed their sons good name by claiming racism, murder, coverup at the hands of hundreds of people. Their lawsuit (s) are ridiculous. I guess now they can add the FBI video analyst employees to their lawsuit because they “colluded and covered up the murder”.
    When will these judges finally throw their lawsuit out and fine the Johnsons for the attorneys fees that they have cost us tax payers? We are all sick of hearing about this case and the Johnsons false accusations.