50 min

Mississippi Goddam Chapter 1: The Promise Reveal

    • News

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.

Ten years ago, Reveal host Al Letson traveled to Lucedale, Mississippi, to report on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. While there, locals told him there was another story he should be looking into: Johnson’s suspicious death.  

During a traffic stop with a White deputy, police say Johnson died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. But for Johnson’s family, that explanation never made sense. 

In the first episode of this seven-part series, Letson returns to Mississippi with reporter Jonathan Jones to explore what happened to Johnson – and what justice means in a place haunted by its history.

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.

Ten years ago, Reveal host Al Letson traveled to Lucedale, Mississippi, to report on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. While there, locals told him there was another story he should be looking into: Johnson’s suspicious death.  

During a traffic stop with a White deputy, police say Johnson died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. But for Johnson’s family, that explanation never made sense. 

In the first episode of this seven-part series, Letson returns to Mississippi with reporter Jonathan Jones to explore what happened to Johnson – and what justice means in a place haunted by its history.

50 min

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