Drug Policy

Atlanta's Judges: "Not Our Problem"

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Following up on yesterday's post…

You'd think that everyone in the chain of command in Atlanta would be looking for ways to prevent more botched raids and more unnecessary violence. Nope. It's all ass-covering and buck-passing .

Fulton magistrates don't plan on making any policy changes, said Stefani Searcy, court administrator for Fulton County State and Magistrate courts.

"I'm sure the judges, not just here but across the state, are concerned about whether officers are telling the truth," Searcy said. "It's a problem that has to be handled internally by the police department."

Oh, and they're going to make themselves even less accountable, by no longer talking to the press.

And speaking of people who just don't get it:

David Fowler, deputy executive director of the Prosecuting Attorneys Council of Georgia, said [no-knock] warrants are sometimes needed to give police the element of surprise.

"Let's not say the system is broke just because we had some rogue cops breaking the rules," he said. "This doesn't fall at the feet of the magistrate or the chief of police. It's the officers who took the shortcuts."

No question these cops were particularly dirty. But this is a systemic problem driven by bad policy. And if it isn't fixed, not just in Atlanta, count on more dead innocents, more dead nonviolent offenders, and more dead cops.

Meanwhile—and I really can't believe this—the officers who killed Kathryn Johnston are worried about losing their pensions. I'd think that ought to pretty much be a given, no? Kill an old lady, lose your pension?