Police in Altanta have apparently shot and killed a 92-year-old woman Tuesday night during a drug raid. Details are sketchy, but unless a nonagenerian was pushing dope and using lethal force to protect her supply, the most likely explanation here is that someone sent the tactical team to kick down the wrong door after a bad tip from an informant. Again. Only this time, the spunky old broad inside met the intruders with gunfire:
The woman's niece, Sarah Dozier, says that she bought her aunt a gun to protect herself and that her aunt had a permit for the gun. Relatives believe Johnston was frightened by the officers and opened fire."They kicked her door down talking about drugs, there's no drugs in that house. And they realize now, they've got the wrong house," Dozier said. "I'm mad as hell."
Police insist the warrant was legit, and the house was correct – which is why I'm guessing the problem originated with the informant.
This of course is why you don't kick down doors for nonviolent offenses in the first place, especially if all you've got is a CI's tip. But you already knew that. Thing is, even if this case is every bit as egregious as it seems, it won't change much. There will be some outrage. Perhaps an apology. Maybe even a few empty promises for reform. And then, in a few months, everything will go back to the way it was before. The only certainty here is that Kathryn Johnston won't be the last person to die in one of these stupid raids. Just ask Alberta Spruill.
In the meantime, somebody wanna' hand me another one of those red thumbtacks?
UPDATE: More from the AJC here. Police aren't saying what they were looking for, or what they found inside. Johnston was the only person in the house at the time of the raid. Perhaps this case will prove different, but my experience in researching this stuff is that when police conduct a drug raid, they trot out everything they found—particularly when the raid resulted in violence. That they've yet to announce any seized contraband doesn't bode well.