Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Congressman Al Green Calls for Justice for Joshua Johnson

On Wednesday, May 20, 2020, Congressman Al Green released the following statement, calling for justice for Joshua Johnson:           

“The parents of Joshua Johnson were injured when their son was killed within view of their home. They and many of their neighbors are still in mourning,” said Congressman Al Green. “Insult was added to the injury when an investigating officer showed little compassion and they were denied the opportunity to see their son’s body until the day of his wake. On April 22, 2020, at around 6 a.m., 35-year-old Joshua Johnson was killed by an unnamed Harris County Sheriff’s Office deputy. Within little more than several hours, one of the investigating officers had already begun invidious misconduct indicative of a rush to judgment. As evidenced by the following link –”
Congressman Green– whose district includes the neighborhood where Joshua was killed – added, “Here are some salient and indisputable facts –
  1. An investigating officer concluded what the facts were within several hours after Joshua’s death, before the medical examiner examined Joshua’s body, before there was a ballistics report, before there was an autopsy, without questioning the officer who shot Joshua, without the benefit of a body camera, and in spite of evidence contradicting his version of the facts.
  2. In summary, the investigating officer told Joshua’s parents, ‘He [the officer who shot Joshua] was sitting in his vehicle, when apparently your son came up to him. It was still dark outside. He had a flashlight turned on on his cell phone and a black pistol. He [Joshua] came up, tapped on the deputy’s window. There were some words exchanged. All the deputy sees is he has got the pistol [BB pistol] pointed at him…No reason to believe it happened any other way than what the deputy is saying.’ Query: How does he know what the shooting deputy saw or heard? He said he didn’t talk to him. There was no body camera and any other witness should not be given absolute credibility before forensic reports are concluded. He makes no mention of a bullet found behind a house across the street from where the shooting allegedly occurred. How did it get there?
  3. The investigating officer says, ‘The shooting actually occurred in the street, outside the driver’s window of the deputy’s unmarked car.’ He also says, ‘I seen the gun in the grass over there.’ Query: If Joshua was shot in the street outside the driver’s window of the deputy’s vehicle, how did the BB pistol get in the grass?
  4. No officer has questioned some witnesses who live in houses with a view of the site where the shooting is alleged to have occurred; witnesses who contradict some statements made by the investigating officer. One such example of a contradiction would be the location of the shooting officer’s vehicle.”
Congressman Green – together with the family and neighbors of Joshua Johnson – is seeking the truth about what happened on the morning of April 22, 2020 by calling for justice for Joshua. He stated, “Does this officer’s invidious misconduct constitute a rush to judgment facilitating a cover-up? The best way to determine whether there is a cover-up is with a court of inquiry. It would allow a judge who is not on the payroll of the Sheriff’s Office to preside over this type of questionable shooting. It would eliminate conflicts of interest, provide greater transparency, and enhance confidence in the criminal justice system.”

“This is not about the Sheriff or the Sheriff’s Office. It’s not about the District Attorney or the District Attorney’s Office. This is about how one investigating officer can corrupt an investigation. This officer should be fired, and because there is probable cause to believe there has been corruption and conflict of interest, a court of inquiry should examine the shooting of Joshua Johnson.”