TAMPA, Fla. — Three years after his son's death, Johnny Johnson is waging a battle against Florida's controversial "stand your ground" law.
"It hurts. It's a hurting feeling, I mean every new year just reliving those moments are chilling," Johnson said.
His son, 17-year-old Jayquon Johnson, a Brandon High School basketball star, was shot and killed in a Valrico garage on New Year's Day in 2017 after a drug deal went wrong.
"To get to Brandon hospital and find out he was deceased, for any parent despite the circumstances it's devastating news to hear," Johnson said.
Jayquon's killer was never charged with murder, sentenced as a youthful offender and placed on probation because of the "stand your ground" law that shifts the burden of proof onto prosecutors. Johnson says that should've never applied in his case and the shooter shouldn't have been able to use that defense.
"In my son's case, it was very unique and different in its own way. That's why it doesn't cover a broad spectrum," Johnson said. "In his case, it needs to be looked at in a different way.
"I feel upon myself that I need to get on my feet. I believe I'll make some type of progress, get someone to listen."
Three years later, his battle for justice is taking him to Tallahassee. He'll ride his bike from his son's gravesite to the state capitol.
"I was just riding and riding and he was speaking to me saying, 'Dad you can just let it lay down like that.' I just thought it would be fitting to do something and let officials know that we're not satisfied with the senseless gun violence," Johnson said.
On his son's graduation year, he wants him to know that he's not giving up.
"I know I'm on an uphill battle son, but I promise him that people will be held accountable for their actions," Johnson said.
Johnson says many people from the community will be riding with him. They plan on leaving in the morning on Jan. 13. He's raising funds to get himself there. If you'd like to help, you can here.
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