ATLANTA -- The parents of a Valdosta teen are demanding answers in their son's death. They say the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office did not properly investigate his case.
17-year-old Kendrick Johnson was found dead at Lowndes County High School on January 11th. His body was discovered in the gym, rolled in a wrestling mat.
The Lowndes County Sheriff's Office ruled it an accidental death, saying Johnson climbed into the rolled mat to retrieve a lost shoe, but got stuck and suffocated.
Months later, the GBI autopsy report listed cause of death as accidental asphyxiation.
But Johnson's parents don't buy it. They believe their son was killed and are pressing for a tougher investigation.
This week, both the National Action Network and the Morehouse chapter of the NAACP have spoken out on the family's behalf, holding a rally on the state capitol steps Tuesday afternoon. Both groups are calling on the justice department to investigate.
"We don't believe the sheriff's office has done a full, thorough and impartial investigation," said LaMon Bland, national field director for the National Action Network.
He says they have seen a number of community members come forward to join rallies and help the family.
"They're looking at common sense facts and realizing that something is wrong here," Bland said.
The groups will join Johnson's parents at another rally Thursday afternoon in Valdosta.