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Investigator says Burlington teen’s death was no hate crime

A Burlington investigator says a state senator’s remarks about the slaying of a 16-year-old boy were mistaken and irresponsible.
Kedarie Johnson

BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) — A Burlington investigator says a state senator’s remarks about the slaying of a 16-year-old boy were mistaken and irresponsible.

On Monday, March 7, 2016  Sen. Matt McCoy spoke to the Senate about his hate crimes bill and referenced the March 2 killing of Kedarie Johnson. McCoy provided what he said were details about the attack.

On Tuesday police Lt. Jeff Klein told The Hawk Eye that McCoy got his facts wrong and said “it is irresponsible for him to comment on crime scene specifics when he has no firsthand knowledge.”

Related: Kedarie Johnson remembered as Confident, Joyful and Full of Life 

Klein says investigators have no information that the attack was a hate crime. The boy’s stepfather told the newspaper that Johnson was gay.

McCoy acknowledged later that some of his information was wrong but maintained that Johnson was a hate crime victim.

The Hawk Eye contributed to this report