Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Lowndes County Schools' attorneys insists Kendrick Johnson video is "a raw feed with no edits"

Kendrick Johnson

Education attorneys at Lowndes County Schools insist the video they released of the day student Kendrick Johnson died is "a raw feed with no edits."

In my experience, school attorneys try very hard to conceal events in schools from the public, the courts and from parents of students who have been injured or killed.

"We're missing information." --Grant Fredericks, forensic video analyst

Click link to see school videos:

Kendrick Johnson footage released; expert finds it 'highly suspicious'
From Victor Blackwell
November 21, 2013

Missing video in teen gym-mat death?

(CNN) -- Kendrick Johnson's family waited months for hundreds of hours of surveillance video, hoping it would answer their questions. It only raised others.

Rather than showing how their 17-year-old son's body ended up in a school gym mat in January, the four cameras inside the Valdosta, Georgia, gymnasium showed only a few collective seconds of Johnson, jogging. The camera fixed on the gym mats was blurry...

"(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."

Two cameras in the gym are missing an hour and five minutes, their hiatus ending at 1:09, when Johnson enters the gym. Another pair of cameras are missing two hours and 10 minutes each. They don't begin recording again until 1:15 and 1:16, according to their time stamps.

What's certain, based on video from a camera outside the gym, is that numerous students walked into the gym during the hour and five minutes that the cameras weren't recording, but it's not clear whether that was sufficient to activate the cameras' motion sensors.

The time stamp on a camera outside the gym also appears to be 10 minutes behind the cameras inside the gym.

"I can't tell you whether there was no information recorded in the digital video system or whether somebody made an error and didn't capture it or whether somebody just didn't provide it," Fredericks said.

CNN has requested access to the original surveillance servers. But Fredericks cautions that the video could be gone, as newer surveillance would replace it if it wasn't recovered promptly from the school's digital video recorder.

The police have said they didn't receive a copy of the videos until several days after Johnson's body was found, according to an unredacted report obtained by CNN after a legal process.

Fredericks told CNN he found it "highly suspicious" that an hour of video could be missing, especially considering how the material was acquired by police.

"The investigator's responsibility is to acquire the entire digital video recording system and have their staff define what they want to obtain," he said.

According to an incident report from the Sheriff's Office, however, a detective watched a portion of the video then asked an information technology officer employed by the school board to produce a "copy of the surveillance video for the entire wing of the school with the old gym for the last 48 hours."

Five days later, the sheriff's report says, the IT officer delivered a hard drive to the detective, who verified it contained what he requested.

"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."...

$10,000 Reward Offered In Death Investigation
...[previous story]by: Garin Flowers
October 18, 2013

Valdosta, GA - A new surveillance video shows Kendrick Johnson wasn't alone in the gym.

An attorney for Lowndes High School says additional surveillance video shows other students in the gym around the time Kendrick Johnson walked in.

That video has not been released because officials don't have consent for the additional minors seen in the video.

Attorneys for the family of Kendrick Johnson plan to have a hearing with a Lowndes County judge on October 30.

They will seek a court order for that surveillance video inside of the gym and other areas that may add more evidence to the case.

Attorneys Chevene King and Ben Crump represent the family.

They're hoping the U.S. Department of Justice opens a formal investigation into the case. We spoke with the attorneys and the Johnson family on Friday.

"There were four cameras inside that gym, one of which was aimed in the direction of the corner where Kendrick's body was found," King said.

"If you have a video surveillance that shows what happened to Kendrick Johnson, doesn't the family at least deserve to see the truth," Crump said.

"The only time we'll be able to feel comfortable in some sort, when Kendrick get justice," said Kenneth Johnson, father of Kendrick.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation ruled Kendrick Johnson's death a result of positional asphyxiation.

The Johnson family conducted its own autopsy, which showed the teen died from blunt force trauma.

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