The case surrounding the death of Kendrick Johnson (pictured) is perplexing, considering the nature of how the Georgia teen was found dead. Now, a video expert consultant that works for the FBI says that the surveillance video captured at the Lowndes County High School in Valdosta is reportedly missing bits of information.
CNN obtained 290 hours of video footage and hired forensic video analyst Grant Fredericks to examine the evidence. The Johnson family’s largest fears regarding the video was that the files were corrupted, something Fredricks did not agree with.
However, Fredricks did say that there is at least one hour missing from each of the four video cameras inside the gym where Johnson was found rolled up in a wrestling mat.
“Those files are not original files,” Fredericks said. “They’re not something investigators should rely on for the truth of the video.”
(The surveillance video has) been altered in a number of ways, primarily in image quality and likely in dropped information, information loss,” he said. “There are also a number of files that are corrupted because they’ve not been processed correctly and they’re not playable. I can’t say why they were done that way, but they were not done correctly, and they were not done thoroughly. So we’re missing information.
Fredricks explained that the stop-and-go nature of the video was based on motion sensors affixed on top of the cameras. It was noted that Johnson and several other students were seen entering the gym, although for five minutes the cameras didn’t record them for some unknown reason. Further, Fredricks found it curious that the cameras would be missing footage and mentioned the sloppy way the Valdosta Sheriff’s Office handled the transfer of the video from the school.
“Right now, what they’ve done, is they’ve left it up to the school district as to what it is they want to provide to the police, and I think that probably is a mistake,” Fredericks said. “You don’t want somebody who might be party to the responsibility to make the decision as to what they provide the police.”
Fredricks said that until he or another investigator has the entire digital video system, and not just portions of video the school provided, he cannot say for sure that the video was altered or corrupted but did caution he would be “highly suspicious” of anything surrounding the footage.
Jacquelyn Johnson, the Mother of the slain boy, said that she and her family is determined to learn what happened. “That’s my child, and we’re going to fight until it’s all over, until we get the truth,” she said.