NAACP Probes Football Player's Death

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

The NAACP is conducting an independent investigation into the shooting death of a George County High School football star.

Gulf Coast NAACP President Curley Clark said the civil rights organization has ruled out suicide as the cause of death for Billey Joe Johnson, Jr.

The 17-year-old died December 8 after his vehicle was stopped by a sheriff's deputy.

The NAACP is conducting interviews, and has scheduled an independent pathologist to conduct an autopsy.

Sheriff Garry Welford had said it appeared the gunshot was self-inflicted, but he asked District Attorney Tony Lawrence and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation to review the incident.

Lawrence met Monday with Johnson's family. He did not immediately return a call to The Associated Press seeking comment.


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  • by Anonymous Location: Meridian on Dec 16, 2008 at 04:52 AM
    "Change" & "Hope" ok sure!! If it was a reverse situation would they have rulled out suicide..NO! Would some civil rights group come in and do their own investigation..NO!! I agree with you Sally, You are so right how can we change as a society when many hide behind what happened long before many of us were even born. The past was tragic and wrong... but why is it that we are still punishing people for what happened years and years ago. You want Change and Hope then you have to change and let the past go. Move forward and leave the past in the past. Stop using it as a crutch to get what you want when you find you are having difficulty getting it or can't obtain it on your own. Is there a civil rights group that defend, non african americans??? No, that would be prejiduce!!! So Please I know we can Never Forget the past but lets move forward from it and stop pointing fingers and blame, None of us alive now did any of those horrible things years ago, we had nothing to do with it!!
  • by Mike Location: Meridian on Dec 15, 2008 at 10:46 PM
    I play football for the meridian high wildcats.Billy joe were indeed a great sportman and had a great head on his shoudler.maybe one day could have went to pro,because of his skill on the football feild.I were indeed thinking myself that this young man didnt kill himself..for what reason???
  • by Dave on Dec 15, 2008 at 05:15 PM
    I think some of this is fueled by a family, understandably, not being able to accept that this young man might have died at his own hand. If someone else did this, by all means, let every agency do whatever it can to find the truth. But the NAACP is not a forensic agency. It should push for the truth and accuracy, but not rule out suicide as if it has credentials to do so.
  • by Sally Location: meridian on Dec 15, 2008 at 04:10 PM
    ARE YOU KIDDING ME...... i am sorry for the familys loss but i love the way the NAACP takes it upon themselves to " rule out suicide".... thats the problem ...you put race in to something and it changes everything.... im guessing the cop was white? just a thought ... the people who are screaming "change " and "hope" are the very ones living in the past and are doomed to repeat history...
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