Parents: Cops’ Story of Son’s Suicide Sounds Shaky

Parents: Cops’ Story of Son’s Suicide Sounds Shaky

Published December 30, 2008

The parents of a Mississippi high school star athlete aren’t buying the cops’ story that their son shot himself to death during a traffic stop. They want the NAACP to initiate an independent autopsy to determine how Billey Joe Johnson, of George County High School, died.

The officer who stopped the 17-year-old running back said that he had gone back to his patrol car to do a license check and heard a gunshot. He said he then saw Johnson fall out of the drivers-side of the car with a shotgun on top of him.

"The NAACP, along with the family, have determined that Billey Joe Johnson did not commit suicide," Curley Clark, the vice president of the NAACP's Mississippi chapter told The Mississippi Press. "At this point, nothing is concrete until the results of the autopsies have been made known."

Clark said the civil rights group will have the results of a second autopsy done this week.

"This incident will not be swept under the rug," Clark told WLOX. "We are going to make sure all the facts are brought out. We are going to provide the proper assistance necessary make to sure no civil rights were violated."

Johnson’s brother, Eddie, said that Billey loved to hunt and would sometimes go hunting early in the morning before heading to school.  That, he said, would explain why his brother had the shotgun in his car.

Billy rushed for more than 4,000 yards in his high school career and had scholarship offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, Mississippi, Mississippi State and Oregon.

Written by BET.com Staff & Wire Services

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