Militarization of Police

Kathryn Johnston Was Murdered

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If this report turns out to be true, it's time to start think about murder charges:

An Atlanta police narcotics officer has told federal investigators at least one member of his unit lied about making a drug buy at the home of an elderly woman killed in a subsequent raid, according to a person close to the investigation.

In an affidavit to get a search warrant at the home Nov. 21, narcotics officer Jason R. Smith told a magistrate he and Officer Arthur Tesler had a confidential informant buy $50 worth of crack at 933 Neal St. from a man named "Sam."

But narcotics officer Gregg Junnier, who was wounded in the shootout, has since told federal investigators that did not happen, according to the person close to the investigation. Police got a no-knock warrant after claiming that "Sam" had surveillance cameras outside the Neal Street residence and they needed the element of surprise to capture him and the drugs.

The resident at the home, Kathryn Johnston, who is reported to be either 88 or 92, was startled by the sound of her burglar-bar door being battered in, and she fired her revolver at the officers. She was killed and three officers were wounded by gunfire or shrapnel.

Let's hope Atlanta officials don't now declare this an isolated case of a few cops gone bad, and thus conclude that there's no need for reform. I doubt this is the first time these particular officers took shortcuts.  If these officers thought they could get away with it, others almost certainly do, too.

Atlanta needs to look at how this could have happened, and why this particular search warrant was allowed to go forward, despite the fabricated evidence. That these narcotics cops pulled this off without much thought—and did so successfully—is indicative of a much larger problem.  Everyone, including judges and prosecutors, needs a close look.

NEXT: Why Won't the Dems Show Some Leadership on Iraq?

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  1. Murder charges?!

    Even a three-week suspension would be too harsh.

    Law Enforcement Officers are already held to a higher standard. Why add insult to injury?

  2. A three week suspension for delibrately lying to obtain a no knock warrant resulting in the needless death of an old woman? Too harsh!

    What planet are you on?!?! These scumbags are worse than any ordinary criminal violent home invaders who kill a victim, they are supposed to be the ones protecting the poor old lady!!

  3. Yeah, totally. If it was an ordinary citizen that lied about buying drugs and broke into what he probably thought was an unarmed elderly woman’s home and shot her when he discovered she was armed, he probably wouldn’t even spend a night in jail. People are just biased against cops.

  4. The poster above linked The Cop Talk forum, which is one of my favorite forums on the internet.

    If you want to understand the po po mind, such as it is, then I encourage everyone to read some of the thds there.

    It is an amazing place. seriously.

  5. http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/atlanta/stories/2007/01/10/0111metshoot.html
    this will bypass the AJC password wall. I tried three passwords and none worked.

  6. Again I say this will not end until we start calling in false alligations of drug activities at the homes of politicians families and judges families. Mark my words they will not be outraged by any number of civilians killed in their WoD to them its the cost of doing business.

    Now when their grandmother gets shot in a raid or their kid suddenly it will be an outrage that has to be stopped and will be jumped on as the most important issue of our day. But until it affects them directly they could give a shit less.

    Give them tips to people that will be affected and can affect change thats the only way anything is done these days. Give them so many tips they are overloaded. After all COPS work for TIPS and TIPS only, hmmm odd thats the same way strippers get paid!

  7. “narcotics cops pulled this off without much thought”

    There is a tacit assumption here that they are thinking at all. For which assumption, there appears to be less evidence than for the raid.

  8. murder charges hell.

    lets bring back western old school:

    rope, tree, some assembly required.

  9. If you want to understand the po po mind, such as it is, then I encourage everyone to read some of the thds there.

    I just did. Yikes.

  10. Yeah,

    I went and checked out somm of the other threads there, they were scary. Those guys seem to think that we should have to produce ID for everything, and that any stop automatically warrants further ivestigation without probably cause. I can just imagine it now:

    “Sir, you have a busted tailight, I’m going to need to get out of your vehicle, place your hands behind your back so I can cuff you while we search your vehicle. What’s that, what about your rights? Down to the station for you. We will now be seizing your vehicle and everything in it for failure to RESPEK MAH AUTHORITAH!!”

    Nick

  11. One good thing is that the Kathryn Johnston threads and Peyton Strickland seem to have died down now that it looks like there may be murder charges.

    I am not strongly pro death penalty, but would have little trouble with it being applied in the Kathryn Johnston case if it turns out that the officers told big lies to get the warrant. I think even one or two executions would send a powerful message and act as a deterrent to further, similar murders by other pd’s all across the land.

  12. Thanks for the Cop Talk link.

    I think I might have trouble sleeping tonight. Truly frightening.

  13. Keep up the good work Radley. Your work, by way of me sending link after link, is starting to change some minds of some family members and friends.

  14. A local NBC station is reporting that murder charges are in fact in the works:

    http://www.11alive.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=90307

  15. Jesus Christ that CopTalk forum is frightening. I’m not sure whether to be thankful or not to know about the existence of that garbage.

  16. Yeah, pathetic. I’ve been telling people for years that those who are supposed to “protect and serve” have in fact become nothing but criminal predatory guards in the prison we’ve allowed our nation to become.

    In fact, that is an apt description of the society the people in that forum wish for, an open air prison.

  17. “We have talked a couple of times concerning your participation on my site. You
    seem like a reasonable person to me and you have never resorted to rude behavior
    that I can see, but you very definitely do have an agenda and your presence on
    my site is causing a lot of trouble. I have received dozens of complaints about
    you and I have one of my moderators mad at me for not banning you sooner. I
    warned you before that I thought your continued participation in Cop Talk would
    lead us to an impasse, but you do not appear to have taken the word to the wise
    that I tried to give you. I am far too busy to deal with this much grief
    associated with any one user. You simply seem to be incompatible with my site
    and I am tired of dealing with the fallout. I am going to revoke your posting
    privileges on Glock Talk. I hope you understand why I think this is necessary
    and I hope you find a site that is more in step with your sensibilities. Eric”

    Sammy responds:
    you betcha Eric! I call it Hit And Run!

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