Miami Gardens slain soldier's mother waits for copy of military investigation

No more punishments to be issued in Niger ambush killing Sgt. La David Johnson


MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson's mother said she traveled to North Carolina in anticipation of the Wednesday release of a Department of Defense report into the death of her son and three other soldiers.

The 25-year-old Miami Gardens serviceman was part of a team of U.S. special operations troops when Islamist militants ambushed them Oct. 4 2017 in the village of Tongo Tongo, Niger, an African country facing a growing Islamic State-linked threat. 

Cowanda Johnson said she doesn't expect any groundbreaking information to be released, but the completion of Army Gen. Robert Brown's report will allow her and other families to have access to a redacted copy of the U.S. Africa Command investigation, which found several institutional failures.

Acting Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan
Acting Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan

Acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan tasked Brown with reviewing the investigations by U.S. Africa Command and Special Operations Command, which resulted in reprimands for Air Force Maj. Gen. Marcus Hicks and seven Green Berets. 

Politico reported Brown's report is "a summary without new recommendations of punishments or other changes" and Shanahan is "not going to recommend punishments for higher-level commanders."

The families of Staff Sgt Johnson and Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright are waiting to receive their Silver Star for valor. The families of Staff Sgt. Bryan Black and Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson are waiting for their Bronze Star. 

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