Defamation lawsuit filed over discovery of Kendrick Bell documentary

From the complaint received today Bell v. Pollock (paragraph numbers omitted):

On July 30, 2021, the documentary Finding Kendrick Johnson (“Documentary”) was first released, and on December 27, 2021, internet users were able to stream it on multiple online platforms…. Documentary, January 2013 Body purports to tell the story of the murder of Lowndes County High School student Kendrick Johnson (“The Deceased”), who was found wrapped in a high school gym.

The defendants deliberately used the decedent’s mysterious death and the descriptions and controversies surrounding the decedent’s death to create a completely false narrative and profit financially by framing the Bells as modern versions of those responsible for one of America’s most brutal and notorious hate crimes. The documentary indicates that the deceased’s death was a murder. The Documentary further describes the murder as the result of criminal acts committed by Brian and Branden, who had “issues” with the Deceased when two other Lowndes County High School students he represented died. Defendants present the film’s central thesis that Deceased’s murder was the second iteration of Emmett Till’s gruesome, racially motivated murder….

[T]The documentary promotes a conspiracy theory that the deceased’s death was ruled an accident, and claims that Brian and Branden’s father, Rick, who works as an FBI agent, ran a cover-up to hide his son’s involvement in the crime. Murder of the deceased.

The Documentary then reveals that Rick is meeting potential witnesses and intimidating them. The Documentary also reveals that Rick used his FBI connections to take the investigation’s attention away from his sons to cover up his involvement in the deceased’s murder…. The Documentary also reveals that Rick was forced to resign from his position after the Justice Department uncovered evidence of his “corruption” of the investigation. considers it a lie.

The claim published in the Documentary that Brian played a role in the deceased’s death with the help of Branden is patently false to anyone who has done any research into the facts surrounding the deceased’s unfortunate and mysterious death.

Of course, these allegations are just the allegations in the Complaint (and some allegations; the Complaint is long). We’ll see how it goes in court.