The parents of a Georgia teenager who died in unusual and suspicious circumstances held an emotional press conference Thursday on what would have been their son’s eighteenth birthday. Standing on the steps of Lowndes County Courthouse in Valdosta, Georgia, Kenneth Johnson expressed sorrow and disbelief his son died on the cusp of being a man in such tragic circumstances.

Flanked by his lawyers and family, Mr. Johnson said, “Today is Kendrick’s 18th birthday. I want to say to the school, to the sheriff’s department, let’s give him a good present today. Give us the video tape.”

Seventeen-year-old Kendrick Johnson was found dead in a rolled-up gym mat in Lowndes High School on January 11. The family’s attorney, Chevene King, said they are now involved in legal wrangling to get authorities to release videotape from inside the gym where the teen was killed.