Sojourner's Place

don't tell me your innocent. it insults my intelligence  

Posted by SjP in ,

In December of last year, I reported on the case of Billey Joe Johnson, a gifted George County High School running back, who was shot to death following a traffic violation. At that time, the reported evidence was pointing to an "apparent suicide". Now we learn that earlier this month, the Grand Jury ruled Billey's death an accident. In addition, the Grand Jury ruled out any potential for a violent death and found that Sheriff Garry Welford was in no way responsible for Billey's death.

According to, Will Brinson, the Grand Jury ruling does three things:

First, it confirms the NAACP's conclusion that suicide was not the cause of Johnson's death (how the NAACP intended that ruling to be taken by the general public may be up for debate).

Secondly, it rules out any potential for a violent death. This was an unspoken issue, but considering the natural racial overtones that surround the incident's circumstances, well, it was there. The police department, with this ruling, appears to be off the hook.

And finally, it would appear that Johnson's family has little reason to ever consider filing a lawsuit in this matter, barring some defective issue with the shotgun. And that's not to say this is the last we'll hear about Johnson's family or the late high-school superstar; there's a chance, given the extremely mysterious nature of his death, that more evidence surfaces.

AAPP provides the timeline of event - according to police - leading up to the "accident".

So, let me get this right. It wasn't a suicide, because the Grand Jury determined that Billey had too much to live for. So what that means is that Billey accidentally pick up a shot gun and accidentally put it to his head and accidentally pulled the trigger. Right? As Michael Corleone said to his brother-in-law before he had him whacked "Don't tell me your innocent. It insults my intelligence".

Obliged to you for hearing me,
and now old SjP ain't got nothin' more to say...
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This entry was posted at Thursday, February 26, 2009 and is filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the .

13 sojourners hollin' back


Reading about this young man's death I found myself puzzled with both the circumstances and explanation given. No history of depression and he commits suicide?

As you say, the police department is "off the hook now" since they weren't found to be has to wonder why there frequently seems to be circumstances surrounding the death of African Americans whenever police are in the proximity.


February 26, 2009 at 7:12 AM

SjP, Your blog is wonderful! I totally upset with the killing of this young man. These killings have been happening across America. I'm totally through with our national leadership. The only group that seems to be stepping up is the Color of Change, and individual black bloggers. I'm hopefully that the afrospear bloggers group will become more engaged in this issue. We cannot continue to be silent. Thank you SjP for keeping us informed of this issue. This is history repeating itself. The hanging and killing of black men and women in America.

Keep strong....


February 26, 2009 at 8:54 AM

I was typing fast, "I'm totally upset with the killing of this young man."

February 26, 2009 at 8:56 AM

Police Killings are the new 21st century version of lynching. I really believe that.

February 26, 2009 at 9:48 AM

I've been following this story pretty closely, I think the family and the NAACP are planning on taking it to the federal court. Do you think this will make any difference?

February 26, 2009 at 11:58 AM

Sometimes it is all just too much...*shaking my head* This is very tragic.

February 26, 2009 at 3:59 PM

The senselessness of some of the actions of the human race is so saddening. It is beyond me.

February 26, 2009 at 5:43 PM

@ U, this has puzzled me from day one. I don't know how anyone can expect anyone to believe this crap!

@ AAPP, you got me blushing over here. Much obliged...

What is going on? These are some very strange times. It is almost as if - no exactly as if - the new mantra has become "you got a black president now go sit your ass down and shut up". Well, I can sit down or shut up...ain't in my make-up or in my experience.

@ Revy Rev, you are exactly right. Lynching under the law!

@ James, I think it really depends on the evidence as to whether or not a federal court will find differently. We can only hope and pray that somebody is able to get to the bottom of this. It is impossible for someone to accidentally shoot themselves in the head. PLEASE!

@ Anon, tragic is an understatement!

@ Miles, I'm with you. I just don't understand!

February 26, 2009 at 11:31 PM

How can this be right?

There is no way that I am convienced that this young man's death was by his hand. This is a lie that the police want to forward, but I'm not believing it!

The blacklash that is currently moving across the nation has to be addressed. This type of situation has got to be stopped.

February 26, 2009 at 11:44 PM

February 27, 2009 at 12:13 AM

@ MLD, now you know when they start off with "what had happened was" that it ain't nothing but a lie about to come out. And its a whole lot of "what had happened" happening and I ain't having it either!

@ James, much obliged for the link. I'm glad to know that the family ain't buying it either. We got to stay on this.

February 27, 2009 at 12:30 AM

I am stunned, the only way you can make sense out of it was to say was a suicide, but that what there saying it wasnt.

Who is supposed to be satisfied with that?

February 28, 2009 at 11:56 AM

@ Clmike, this just pisses me off big time!

February 28, 2009 at 12:52 PM
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