Bonita Lacy first heard about Kendrick Johnson through her involvement with the Atlanta chapter of the National Action Network. The 53-year-old drove down to Valdosta from Decatur to rally alongside family and community members on April 18 and again on May 4.
Lacy did not know Johnson, but decided to join the rally because he reminded her of her own grandsons. "I am a grandmother of two boys whom I want to have the right and opportunity to live, grow up, travel and go to school anywhere they please without fear or intimidation, or death by cloudy statements," she said.
While the rallies have been peaceful, seven people, including Kendrick's parents, Moore and several other aunts, were arrested for obstruction at a rally on April 25, according to the Lowndes County sheriff's office. The group was blocking people from entering or leaving the Lowndes County Judicial Complex.
The rally cries have spread far outside Valdosta. Thanks to a Facebook tribute page and stories sent to CNN iReport, the Kendrick Johnson story started to spread online. Moore, Johnson's aunt, sent in an iReport that has been viewed more than 100,000 times and been shared 8,000 times on Facebook.
Moore described Kendrick as a sweet, quiet teen who had dreams of becoming a professional athlete. "He was determined to do his best and be his best," she told CNN.
Waiting for resolution
Kendrick's father has been the more vocal member of the family, at least publicly. His wife, Jacquelyn, speaks in quiet, short sentences. Her eyes still express shock.
Kenneth didn't let his wife go into the morgue to identify their son. He went alone.
Authorities told the family that blood had rushed to Kendrick's head and upper body, his father said. A photo of Kendrick's bloated, postmortem face was almost unrecognizable.
"It's indescribable. You don't expect to see your child lying down like that," said Kenneth, recalling seeing his son's body. "As handsome as my son was, the day you see him like that is crazy."
Even though the case is officially closed, the Johnsons told CNN they will keep protesting. They're still looking for a resolution.
"No matter who you are, how much money your parents have, the color of your skin, everyone deserves justice. Everyone," said Kenneth Johnson.
While he doesn't believe the official reports of how his son died, Kenneth knows he's not alone. He hopes the attention from outside Lowndes County, including the large online community invested in the story, will keep the issue alive.
"It means that people are not going to fall for anything. You know from the way they said the thing happened, people are not buying it."