How did Billey Joe Johnson die?

The facts don't add up. His family deserves answers.

Billey Joe Johnson's future looked bright, but authorities claim he killed himself during a routine traffic stop. It's hard to believe that a 17-year-old star athlete with his pick of college football scholarships would do such a thing, but that's the story a Mississippi sheriff's department is standing by.

According to an independent investigation, the pieces of that story don't add up--witness accounts and an autopsy report contradict the sheriff's explanation, and official documents indicate that officers may have been pursuing Johnson. We don't know what happened, but in the racially divided town of Lucedale, all the ingredients exist for a miscarriage of justice.

Please join us in demanding justice for Billey Joe's family. And please ask your friends and family to do the same.

Add your voice now!

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Read the e-mail message that we originally sent to our members about this petition.

Here is the text of the petitions we'll present to District Attorney Lawrence unless you create your own statement.

Dear District Attorney Lawrence,

I am writing to express my concern regarding the shooting death of 17-year-old Billey Joe Johnson of Lucedale, Mississippi. I have grave doubts that Johnson took his own life, as the George County Sheriff's Department has alleged. The facts of the case don't add up.

There are serious questions that raise doubt about the official story, including an independent investigation that concluded it is impossible for the shot that killed Johnson to have been self-inflicted. I expect that you will thoroughly investigate these claims and the many other questions about what may have occurred.

I am one of many Americans who believe it is crucial that you pursue justice for Johnson's family, and that you make sense of the myriad inconsistencies rather than accept the sheriff's explanation as the true story.

I will continue to closely watch developments in this case.

Sincerely,

[ Your name ]