D. Clarke Evans, NBAE / Getty Images
Adrian Wyld, The Canadian Press / AP
Steve Babineau, Getty Images / NHLI
Jim Rogash, Getty Images
Dino Vournas, AP
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Hulton Archive / Getty Images
Well, the NAACP has stepped in and, through the course of an independent investigation, decided that Johnson's death was not suicide (via Drudge).
"The NAACP, along with the family, have determined that Billey Joe Johnson did not commit suicide," Clark said.Obviously there are a lot of bizarre circumstances involved here, the most bizarre of which is clearly the reason for Johnson's death. Johnson, by all accounts, had everything going for him and was heading to college soon. The only feasible explanation for him panicking at being stopped by the police would involve him being involved in some other pseudo-criminal-related activity (or even simply possession of a gun), yet the police have made absolutely no mention of the possibility that he was violating a law.
The NAACP's conclusion does not rule out the possibility that Johnson accidentally shot himself, Clark said.
"At this point, nothing is concrete until the results of the autopsies have been made known," Clark said.
The organization based its findings on interviews with people who knew Johnson and on physical evidence, Clark said, although Clark declined to detail the physical evidence, citing legal concerns. Clark said nothing supports the notion that the junior running back was in the state of mind to kill himself.
Of course, the NAACP appears to be playing a bit of a political game as well; it states that the death wasn't suicide, but then mention that an accidental shooting "has not yet been ruled out," although it still could be following an autopsy. And, unfortunately, when a gun is involved, there are three options for cause of death. Once "suicide" and "accident" are gone, "murder" is the only option remaining, and considering that we're talking about a young, talented African-American in Mississippi, well, let's just say that this probably won't be the last you hear of this story.