Blue and white ribbons along Whitehurst honor the memory of Cedric “CJ” Jackson

At 18 months old, Cedric “CJ” Jackson thought ketchup packets were messy summer fun. He probably didn’t understand why he was staying with his aunt, her boyfriend and six other children. Heck, he may not have known exactly who the people caring for him were. What we do know is that CJ made it clear to the man who killed him – a man he trusted – that he hated being wrapped up tight before being put to bed on the floor. It made him fuss and cry in protest. Each night, Sedrick Johnson immobilized CJ anyway. Sedrick Johnson called it “swaddling.” After the restraints apparently suffocated CJ in the night, arresting officers with the Dallas Police Department called it felony injury to a child.

More serious charges could follow based on results of a pending autopsy.

Officials with the Lake Highlands Public Improvement District and neighborhood volunteers gathered Saturday to remember CJ and to encourage others in the community to remember him, too. They hung blue and white bows near his aunt’s Whitehurst condo, where searchers initially prayed they would find the missing boy.

“This is just so sad, so sad,” said one woman, who lives along Whitehurst. “That boy was so precious. All of us wanted to find him. My niece works at that landfill, and all of them out there – it just about killed them to find that boy. It makes me want to go home and hug all my grandkids.”

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services has removed the two children of CJ’s aunt from her custody, and she has moved out of her Twin Creeks condo. Johnson is being held on $500,000 bond and his 4 kids were also taken. An investigation is underway as to why CPS placed CJ in the home in May, given Johnson’s extensive criminal record.

“This senseless death left our community sad and with so many questions,” said ribbon-tying volunteer Jenny King, “including the most basic one: Why? Tying ribbons around trees – symbols of life near where Cedric lived – is a tangible act we in the community could do to help remember this precious boy and honor his short life.”

Vicky Taylor, Kathy Stewart, Cheryl Zreet and Lisa Briggs wrap blue ribbons in memory of CJ Jackson

Cedric Jackson