Video of Cobb teen drowning in Belize released on ‘GMA’

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Video of Cobb teen drowning in Belize released on ‘GMA’

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Special to The AJC
Tomari Jackson drowned on a North Cobb High trip to Belize in Febuary 2016. A video, which the AJC has decided not to publish, shows the drowning from his perspective.

A video of a 14-year-old boy drowning within feet of fellow North Cobb High School students on a school trip in Belize was shown during a “Good “Morning America” segment Friday.

Tomari Jackson’s mother Adell Forbes — who is suing the school district along with the chaperones and the trip organizer — spoke about watching the February 2016 video.

“Now I’m able to fill in the gaps and see for myself what happened,” she told GMA, which did not show viewers the actual drowning.

Tomari Jackson, a North Cobb High School freshman, died Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, while on a school trip to Belize. Photo: Love FM radio/Belize

Forbes’ attorneys showed a room of reporters the video a week ago but chose not to release it then, one of the reasons being that the mother wasn’t ready to see the footage on air.

After the program aired Friday, Forbes’ attorneys released to media a copy of the drowning video, which is shot from a camera strapped to her son’s head.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is not publishing the disturbing footage of Tomari’s death from his perspective.

In the video, Tomari is shown surrounded by some of the 31 other students on the trip. He’s close enough to touch a girl’s shoulder while underwater.

At one point, he can be heard asking for help; though it sounds like his cries were muted and it’s unclear why.

Cobb schools declined to comment to GMA, as it did to the AJC, but the wildlife sanctuary where it happened — which is named in the lawsuit along with its owner — did comment to the program.

Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary said in part they “continue to grieve the tragic loss of Tomari Jackson.”

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Watch Tomari’s mother speak about her experience:

The teenagers tried to cover up the scent of the bodies but had friends over a few days later, according to police. Ben Brasch

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