The final episode of Mississippi Goddam shares new revelations that cast doubt on the official story that Billey Joe Johnson accidentally killed himself.
There have long been concerns about the quality of investigations into the suspicious deaths of young Black men in the state, especially when police are involved.
Billey Joe Johnson was a Black boy dating a White girl. That made the story behind his death even more complicated.
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When a detective with the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation finds out what Reveal has uncovered, he begins to wonder whether the case should be reopened.
In December 2008, the autopsy of Billey Joe Johnson Jr. helped the grand jury conclude that his death was an accident. But an independent review of the autopsy came to a different conclusion.
On the morning of Billey Joe Johnson’s death, crime scene tape separates the Johnsons from their son’s body. Their shaky faith in the criminal justice system buckles as authorities fail to follow up on inconsistencies in the official story.
Billey Joe Johnson Jr. was a high school football star headed for the big time. Then, early one morning in 2008, the Black teenager died during a traffic stop with a White deputy. His family’s been searching for answers ever since.
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