Skip to main content

Hennepin County settles for $1.5M in fatal hanging of 6-year-old foster child

Kendrea Johnson died in Brooklyn Park in December 2014.

Hennepin County has settled a lawsuit over the death of a child in foster care for the sum of $1.5 million.

Six-year-old Kendrea Johnson was found hanging by a jump rope from her bunk bed in her Brooklyn Park foster home in December 2014.

While the investigation into her death was inconclusive as to whether it was accidental or suicide, her biological family has always argued she killed herself.

Her grandmother, Mary Broadus, brought a federal lawsuit against several organizations and individuals involved in Johnson's death, including her foster mother, but all except the case against Hennepin County was dropped.

She had argued that her granddaughter had well-documented mental health needs, including suicidal thoughts, but accused those responsible for her care of ignoring her threats of suicide.

While she had sued Hennepin County for $20 million, her attorneys told KSTP that the $1.5 million settlement represents "one of the highest settlements against a government entity in Minnesota on claims involving the deliberate indifference to the welfare of a foster child."

Today's Top Stories

– Motorcyclist involved in horrific 100mph Fridley crash has died.

– Gophers likely to face Oregon State pitcher blacklisted by MLB.

– Want news direct to your inbox? Sign up for our daily newsletters.

In a statement sent to Bring Me The News, Hennepin County said: "Any loss of life is tragic, but the loss of someone so young is especially tragic."

"We are here to protect children - and we do that every day. We take that charge very seriously. However, in light of the significant costs and uncertainties, settling this lawsuit was in the best interest of all the parties involved."

Johnson had been placed in foster care in 2013, after her mother was accused of drug abuse and failure to keep to an agreed protection plan, the Star Tribune reported at the time.

Next Up

police lights

Homes shot at randomly in Wisconsin; residents nearly struck

The people inside the homes were nearly struck, according to the  Juneau County Sheriff’s Office.

Levi Arneberg

Charges: Man killed roommate's 4 pet ferrets after argument

He told police he swears one of the ferrets was "laughing and breathing" as he kept shooting it in the head, charges state.

Minneapolis police

St. Cloud 27-year-old ID'd as victim of homicide near U of M

The shooting, which also injured two others, occurred Thursday near the 500 block of 15th Avenue South.

2019_0914_Packers_Away_0419

What happens to the Vikings if Aaron Rodgers leaves the NFC North?

Rodgers said he isn't interested in rebuilding in Green Bay, is it time for the Vikings to pounce or stay the course?

ambulance

Sheriff: Men found unresponsive in garage died of cocaine overdose

Two of the three men found unresponsive in an Eyota garage last week died of a drug overdose, a preliminary autopsy found.

Anthony Edwards

Ant's injury clouds Timberwolves' victory over the Nets

The Timberwolves star was injured in the final minutes on Sunday night.

Akoya Lee

Byron native Ayoka Lee sets NCAA record for points in a game

The Kansas State forward broke a record shared by former Gopher Rachel Banham.

cold, wind chill, freezing

It's going to be stupid cold again Tuesday and Wednesday

They'll almost certainly be the 10th and 11th days with subzero temps this month.

Related

Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 6.45.53 PM

Charges: Mom killed infant son just weeks after getting him back from foster care

The 10-month-old died in her care in Brooklyn Park last April.

Hennepin County deputy charged with child sex crimes

The 60 year old was caught in a sting operation.

Ambulance hospital emergency

Two-year-old child critical after shooting in Brooklyn Park

Police were called to an apartment Thursday morning.

court gavel

Brooklyn Park man charged in July fatal drive-by shooting

Another Brooklyn Park man was also charged with murder in connection to a separate incident.

Screen Shot 2019-05-22 at 4.52.00 PM

Foster child missing from Brooklyn Park found with biological mom

The 12-year-old was reported missing earlier this week.

Son of Hennepin County Sheriff is facing child porn and solicitation charges

Ryan Stanek is accused of trying to arrange meetings for sex with 13- and 14-year-old girls.

Hennepin Co. worker, husband stole $250K in government benefits

They were both handed prison sentences for the fraud.