Justice Department Ends Investigation Into Raynard Johnson Case - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Justice Department Ends Investigation Into Raynard Johnson Case

The U.S. Department of Justice has ended its investigation into the hanging death of Marion County teen Raynard Johnson, saying there was not enough evidence to warrant a prosecution.

The statement issued by the Justice Department states that the "evidence does not support a federal criminal civil rights prosecution. Despite the tragic nature of this event, the evidence does not suggest that a criminal act occurred."

Raynard Johnson's death was thrust into the nation spotlight when Rev. Jesse Jackson came to Marion County. He demanded a federal investigation saying he didn't trust the authorities in Mississippi to conduct a thorough investigation.

Rev. Jackson has not issued a statement concerning today's ruling from the Justice Department, but Rainbow/PUSH Coalition National Field Director Gary Flowers told us they still believe it was a murder, not a suicide.

"We will pursue vigorously and for however long it takes, an investigation that yields convictions for those responsible for his death," Flowers told WLOX news. Flowers also says he believes the Justice Department was hampered by a poor investigation by local authorities.

Marion County District Attorney Buddy McDonald says the U. S. Justice Department's conclusion is a vindication of sorts for all of the hard work done by local authorities. He says he was confident all along that the departments review of the findings would show that there was no wrong doing.

"We went into this matter from the beginning with an attitude that we wanted to try to get to the truth of the matter," McDonald said. "If a crime had been committed, we wanted to do everything possible to apprehend the people who committed the crime and to prosecute the people that committed the crime. If a crime had not been committed, we wanted to find that out too and get to the truth of the matter."

McDonald says that from the beginning, local authorities pursued this with care because many of them have children as well and they would want the same.

  • NEWSMore>>

  • MS Department of Education releases state testing results

    MS Department of Education releases state testing results

    Friday, August 17 2018 2:45 PM EDT2018-08-17 18:45:53 GMT
    Four school districts on the Coast rank in the state's top ten for proficiency levels. (Photo source: WLOX)Four school districts on the Coast rank in the state's top ten for proficiency levels. (Photo source: WLOX)

    The Mississippi Department of Education released numbers on state testing results from the 2017-2018 school year. 

    More >>

    The Mississippi Department of Education released numbers on state testing results from the 2017-2018 school year. 

    More >>
  • Bryant sets special session on transportation, BP money

    Bryant sets special session on transportation, BP money

    Friday, August 17 2018 2:38 PM EDT2018-08-17 18:38:54 GMT
    Mississippi Capitol BuildingMississippi Capitol Building

    Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant confirms that he will call legislators into special session next week to deal with transportation funding and how to spend money from a BP oil spill lawsuit settlement to help the Gulf Coast economy.

    More >>

    Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant confirms that he will call legislators into special session next week to deal with transportation funding and how to spend money from a BP oil spill lawsuit settlement to help the Gulf Coast economy.

    More >>
  • Biloxi breaks ground on new fire station

    Biloxi breaks ground on new fire station

    Friday, August 17 2018 2:24 PM EDT2018-08-17 18:24:20 GMT
    The brand-new fire station ten will be built in Woolmarket on Old Highway 67 near Cedar Lake Road. (Photo source: WLOX)The brand-new fire station ten will be built in Woolmarket on Old Highway 67 near Cedar Lake Road. (Photo source: WLOX)
    The brand-new fire station ten will be built in Woolmarket on Old Highway 67 near Cedar Lake Road. (Photo source: WLOX)The brand-new fire station ten will be built in Woolmarket on Old Highway 67 near Cedar Lake Road. (Photo source: WLOX)

    An effort to increase safety and reduce emergency response time in Biloxi is officially underway. The project that will come out of the ground at a cleared site in Woolmarket will provide a blanket of security for an area of Biloxi that previously didn't really have one.

    More >>

    An effort to increase safety and reduce emergency response time in Biloxi is officially underway. The project that will come out of the ground at a cleared site in Woolmarket will provide a blanket of security for an area of Biloxi that previously didn't really have one.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly