Drug Raids: Cops Looking Worse and Worse as Facts Emerge in Deadly Atlanta Case

The shooting death of 88-year-old Atlanta resident Kathryn Johnston at the hands of undercover Atlanta police after she fired at them as they burst through her front door continues to cause outrage in the community. And as the days go by, more and more questions are being raised about police behavior that night.

Police originally said they had bought drugs at Johnston's address. Police originally said they knocked and announced their presence before entering. But the search warrant that led to the raid, which Fulton County officials originally refused to release, is clearly marked as a "no-knock" warrant. The affidavit that led to the warrant describes not the police but a confidential informant making the alleged drug buy.

It gets worse -- The confidential informant said this week he never bought drugs at the house and that the police asked him to lie about it after the fact. This has provoked a counterattack by unknowns unhappy with the "reliable" informant, who have leaked his identity to the press and described him as a "drug dealer" as a prelude to discrediting him. [Ed: Somehow that doesn't seem to discredit such people sufficiently to throw out their testimony in mandatory minimum cases.]

Police Chief Richard Pennington now says the department will review its "no-knock" policy. In a preemptive move, Pennington also announced that the killing of Kathryn Johnston will be the subject of a federal investigation. But even those moves haven't taken the heat off of the Atlanta police, with Pennington manfully enduring raucous public meetings where member after member of the community have excoriated him and his department over Johnston's death and trigger-happy police practices.

More community meetings are coming, and multiple investigations are ongoing. Perhaps the killing of Kathryn Johnston will end up serving some purpose if her death helps to rein in law enforcers who treat citizens as if they were enemy combatants.

Visit The Agitator blog for ongoing updates on this case and other bad drug raids.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

The truthful informant needs protection NOW!

I would hope that someone in a different city in our community might be able to find housing & employment for this person, since the "unknowns" (can't we just say "cops") not only won't be likely to protect him, but deliberately-leaked his identity. I wonder if we'll see outrage from perpetually-NYT-outraged conservatives over this leak? I doubt it....

Anyway, if our community doesn't take active measures -- possibly including spending a bit of $, to protect this guy, it will not encourage future truth-tellers. IMO.

What a Shame..

It's a disgrace to law enforcement and the community that this poor woman would be the subject of a "no knock" search and would have her life feel threatened enough to have a gun and attempt to shoot at perpetrators entering her home. The officers should be given death sentences. They certainly had to problem executing a death warrant for Kathryn. Its bad enough most people in dangerous communities don't feel safe enough to put faith in their community but then to have a situation where you can't even feel safe having police in your nieghborhood. Informants don't need to be protected so much as they need to do whats right in order to make sure that justice is done, drug dealer or not. One life has already been taken with many lives affected. This is a travesty and individuals responsible should pay. In my line of work not knowing your facts is called incompetence, plain and simple.

Drug Raid involving the death of Johnston

Speaking of not knowing the facts. You are quick to jump to conclusions of what you are told instead of knowing all of the facts. That makes you ignorant! The Police Officers have a right to protect themselves while putting their lives on the line. If you were being shot at, you would not return fire? That's what I thought! I will add, that IF the Police Officers lied about the information in order to get a search warrant granted, then they should be punished,

Two Joints

One question I have about this is what was an 88 year old women doing with two joints. Medical marijuana maybe? As a good amount of Pot users like myself get older how is this going to effect this strange stupid war.
[email protected]

American HOLOCAUST. Make no mistake about it!

Why does this not surprize me? Just business-as-usual in the unholy Union of American Police Sataes.

``God bless America?''

... Yeah, right!

kathryn johnston killing

the police have lied so much in this case, they can't seem to find the truth anywhere. Why would anyone believe anything they have to say? The chief should be looking into how he can rid his department of the rogue cops. Instead this idiot is still trying to lie and cover up for them. He should go too. When you have a problem this big, heads should start to roll. I am a bit surprised that the mayor hasn't come down on the chief. After all, we are taliking about someone who lost thier life for absolutely nothing.I hope everyone in Atlanta will cry out concerning the killing of this elderly woman. Just ask yourself the question what if that was my mother?

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <i> <blockquote> <p> <address> <pre> <h1> <h2> <h3> <h4> <h5> <h6> <br> <b>

More information about formatting options

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Drug War Issues

Criminal JusticeAsset Forfeiture, Collateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Court Rulings, Drug Courts, Due Process, Felony Disenfranchisement, Incarceration, Policing (2011 Drug War Killings, 2012 Drug War Killings, 2013 Drug War Killings, 2014 Drug War Killings, 2015 Drug War Killings, 2016 Drug War Killings, 2017 Drug War Killings, Arrests, Eradication, Informants, Interdiction, Lowest Priority Policies, Police Corruption, Police Raids, Profiling, Search and Seizure, SWAT/Paramilitarization, Task Forces, Undercover Work), Probation or Parole, Prosecution, Reentry/Rehabilitation, Sentencing (Alternatives to Incarceration, Clemency and Pardon, Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity, Death Penalty, Decriminalization, Defelonization, Drug Free Zones, Mandatory Minimums, Rockefeller Drug Laws, Sentencing Guidelines)CultureArt, Celebrities, Counter-Culture, Music, Poetry/Literature, Television, TheaterDrug UseParaphernalia, ViolenceIntersecting IssuesCollateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Violence, Border, Budgets/Taxes/Economics, Business, Civil Rights, Driving, Economics, Education (College Aid), Employment, Environment, Families, Free Speech, Gun Policy, Human Rights, Immigration, Militarization, Money Laundering, Pregnancy, Privacy (Search and Seizure, Drug Testing), Race, Religion, Science, Sports, Women's IssuesMarijuana PolicyGateway Theory, Hemp, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Marijuana Industry, Medical MarijuanaMedicineMedical Marijuana, Science of Drugs, Under-treatment of PainPublic HealthAddiction, Addiction Treatment (Science of Drugs), Drug Education, Drug Prevention, Drug-Related AIDS/HIV or Hepatitis C, Harm Reduction (Methadone & Other Opiate Maintenance, Needle Exchange, Overdose Prevention, Pill Testing, Safer Injection Sites)Source and Transit CountriesAndean Drug War, Coca, Hashish, Mexican Drug War, Opium ProductionSpecific DrugsAlcohol, Ayahuasca, Cocaine (Crack Cocaine), Ecstasy, Heroin, Ibogaine, ketamine, Khat, Kratom, Marijuana (Gateway Theory, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Medical Marijuana, Hashish), Methamphetamine, New Synthetic Drugs (Synthetic Cannabinoids, Synthetic Stimulants), Nicotine, Prescription Opiates (Fentanyl, Oxycontin), Psilocybin / Magic Mushrooms, Psychedelics (LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Salvia Divinorum)YouthGrade School, Post-Secondary School, Raves, Secondary School