As the country honors those who have served in the military this Veterans Day, new details have emerged surrounding the death of a Black U.S. Army Sgt. whose body was discovered in a small village in Niger in October, The Hill reported.
U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson, 25, was killed along with three other U.S. soldiers by Islamic State militants in the village of Tongo Tongo, the news outlet writes. Local villagers say that his body was bound and executed by the militants. His arms were reportedly tied behind his back and it appears as if he had suffered severe head trauma.
“The back of his head was a mess, as if they had hit him with something hard, like a hammer,” said village chief Mounkaila Alassane, according to the source. “They took his shoes. He was wearing only socks.”
Villagers told the Huffington Post that his body was discovered by a group of children. Following the discovery of his body, the details surrounding how he died were scarce and his widow Myeshia Johnson was advised not to view his body when it got back to the U.S. because it was severely damaged.
Sgt. Johnson’s death made headlines after a phone exchange between Myeshia and President Donald Trump took a left turn. According to Myeshia, Trump showed no regard or respect towards to fallen solider which made it even more difficult for her to mourn her loss. She claims Trump told her that her husband “knew what he was signing up for” when he enlisted in the military and didn’t remember her husband’s name. Florida Rep. Frederica Wilson put Trump on blast for his nonchalant attitude towards the soldier’s death.
According to The Hill, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford promised Johnson’s family that they will get more information about his death to give them a sense of closure. There is an ongoing probe surrounding what happened to Sgt. Johnson and the other soldiers. It is slated to be completed by January 2018.