MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) - Congresswoman Frederica Wilson released a statement, Saturday, in response to reports suggesting U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson may have been held captive in Niger by Islamic State militants.
According to the statement, Wilson had received a classified briefing in regards to the ambush in Niger, during which Johnson and three other soldiers were killed.
“I am not at liberty to discuss the details of what I was told, but I did ask several questions about the incident,” said Wilson, who was briefed Tuesday. “How was Sgt. Johnson killed? Did his death occur while he was engaged in combat against the Islamist militants, or did they capture and execute him? Has an autopsy been done, and if so, what were the results?”
Wilson said she was told the investigation has remained ongoing, however, in light of recent reports surrounding the Miami Gardens resident’s death, she is now demanding more answers.
“I was surprised to wake up and read so many of the horrific details in the Washington Post, the Miami Herald and other leading publications,” she said. “I am very concerned about the mysterious circumstances surrounding Sgt. Johnson’s death, and I need and want answers now.”
The father of two along with three other soldiers were ambushed in October, and Johnson’s body was recovered nearly a mile away from the incident two days later.
According to The Washington Post, villagers in Africa who found the soldier’s body said he had been shot in the back of the head, and his wrists were bound behind his back.
The injuries suggest Johnson may have been held captive, presumably by Islamic State militants, according to the report.
At a prayer service held at the Historic Saint Agnes’ Episcopal Church of Miami, Saturday, Wilson said, “What happened to our hero La David Johnson? We demand an answer today.”
During the service, Johnson held hands with Johnson’s widow. Johnson’s widow did not want to speak after the service, however, she told the Washington Post that she was advised by the U.S. military to not view his corpse.
The Washington Post said the suggestions is usually made when remains are badly disfigured.
A U.S. military official said Johnson’s body appeared viciously battered, but denied that his hands were bound when his body was received by officials.
Civil Rights leader Al Sharpton delivered the service’s key note address and shared his thoughts on the case after the event.
“Now we’re hearing torture, maybe. Now we’re hearing handcuffed, maybe. What is being hid?” he said. “Maybe that would explain the insensitive way the president and the chief of staff have talked, because maybe people know more than they want to tell.”
In October, Wilson had gone head-to-head with President Donald Trump and the chief of staff after she claimed Trump was insensitive during his condolence call to Johnson’s widow.
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