Militarization of Police

Kathryn Johnston Update 1


Another Atlanta resident says police broke down her door in what appears to be a mistaken raid, just days before the raid on Kathryn Johnston.  The raid also  included one of the same narcotics officers involved in the Johnston case.  Police found two marijuana cigarettes in the woman's home—clearly not enough to support a no-knock warrant—and made no arrests.

In past incidents involving high-profile botched raids in other cities, media, activists, and politicians sought out other victims of wrong-door raids to show that there were fundamental problems with the entire warrant-to-raid procedure—that the botched raid in the headlines wasn't a mere happenstance, isolate incident.

Here's hoping the same thing happens in Atlanta.  In a recent town hall meeting at a church just down the street from Johnston's house, several people claim to have been victims of similar mistaken raids.  Someone needs to follow up with them.  I'm sure some are opportunists.  But I'm also certain that some of them are telling the truth.

Note that in the raid linked above, Chief Pennington referred the reporter to the FBI.  The FBI replied that it is only interested in the Johnston case, and referred the reporter back to Chief Pennington.  If this is the treatment given to a news reporter even while a high-profile botched raid is all over the news, imagine how your average wrong-door raid victim might have been received prior to the Johnston incident when trying to file a report.

Yet more evidence that this happens far more often than we read about in the newspaper.  Unless someone dies, it just gets buried, or ignored.

Someone—perhaps the mayor—needs to show some initiative here.  If the mayor is sincere in her promises to hold a thorough and transparent investigation, she ought to want to know every single time this has happened.  If the problem is systemic, she can't go about fixing it until she knows just how bad it is.  Not to mention the fact that the people who've been wrongly terrorized due to bad policy and shortcuts in police procedures ought to be compensated.

NEXT: Where Have All Our Cold Pills Gone?

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  1. In a sadly related case, the NYPD raided the wrong house yesterday in an effort to cover their asses in the Sean Bell shooting. The cops claim that a fourth man was running from the car, so naturally they unloaded 50 caps into the car.

    From the NYPost: “Cops raided a Jamaica apartment building – where neighbors say injured shooting victim Trent Benefield has been seen.”

    Uh, hello. You don’t raid an apartment building. You raid individual apartments. The local news interviewed the occupants in the actual apartments, and none of them knew anything about Benefield. Police later admitted the people didn’t know anything about the case, and they had raided the wrong apartment.

  2. I don’t suppose the police compensate the owners or renters for the mess they made, eh? It’s a small issue compared to, well, death by firearm at 93, but even so…

  3. Lies, lies and more lies. Ihate doing this, but I’m beyond civility at this point. FUCK THE POLICE!

  4. Police found two marijuana cigarettes in the woman’s home

    I wonder if they were there before the raid.


    The police’s actions are just a sad symptom of a worse disease. We can only hope that something good comes of this woman’s senseless death.

    And let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. I know I want the cops around when the residents of joe’s high density zoning come running through my neighborhood in the middle of the night, fleeing from yet another crime they committed.


    Substitute No with Also and you and I have some common ground. But, the War on Liberty, AKA War on Drugs, does not excuse incompetence, falsifying evidence, brutality, lying under oath and covering up for your brother officer. I assert that these problems are endemic in law enforcement today. I bet when cops are alone, they joke about railroading citizens, planting evidence etc. That they are a necessary evil, I’ll grant you. Both necessary and evil are operative words here. There are far too many corrupt cops, and far too many cops who will look the other way. Yes the WoD exacerbates the problems. But the problems predate the WoD.

  7. And let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    Yes, except in this case the baby’s been drowned. Though I suppose it still deserves a decent burial.

  8. If the Bloods or Crips were busting into house’s and killing people I would count all Bloods or Crips as murdering assholes. Any good guys in the gang will get out of the gang quick. Those that don’t get out are not good guys.

    Any excuse about the State ordering their gang to kill people so it is not their fault should fall on deaf ears.

  9. As cold as it sounds (and being family to a couple of bacons), I really don’t care when a cop dies in the line of duty anymore. A few bad apples or whatever; as an institution, you’ve all spent whatever good will you had.

  10. Karl,

    I agree.

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