Federal prosecutors will not file charges in the case of a Georgia teenager found dead in a rolled-up wrestling mat in his school gym, media reported on Monday.
Kendrick Johnson, 17, suffocated at his Valdosta school in January 2013 after becoming trapped in an upright wrestling mat while trying to retrieve a tennis shoe, according to authorities.
The death of the black teenager has drawn wide attention due to its unusual circumstances and charges of racism. Johnson’s parents say their son was harassed by a white classmate before his death.
“There is insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that someone or some group of people willfully violated Kendrick Johnson’s civil rights or committed any other prosecutable federal crime,” a statement from the Justice Department said, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution newspaper.
Local and state authorities have determined that Johnson’s death was accidental.
(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Paul Tait)