Law Enforcement: Atlanta NAACP Calls for Tight Restrictions on "No-Knock" Searches

The Atlanta chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) called Monday for tougher rules regarding the use of "no-knock" search warrants by Atlanta police. With regular search warrants, police must knock and announce their presence before entering a home, but with "no-knock" warrants, police may just kick the door down and enter.

The call for tighter rules around "no-knock" warrants was only one of a number of recommendations for reforming Atlanta's police compiled by the group in the wake of the killing of 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston by police in November. Johnston was shot and killed during a "no-knock" drug raid when she opened fire on undercover narcotics officers bursting through her door. Three officers were wounded. The officers involved claimed a confidential informant had bought cocaine at the house, but no cocaine was found, and another informant has told the media and federal investigators the narcs asked him to lie and say he had bought drugs at the house after the raid went sour.

The NAACP recommended that judges reserve "no-knock" warrants for extreme cases. The group also called for police to conduct surveillance of homes prior to executing a "no-knock" warrant.

"This is of utmost urgency," said Atlanta NAACP head the Rev. RL White Jr., speaking to reporters at the chapter's Atlanta headquarters. "The situation that happened last year was only the tip of the iceberg."

The group also called for police to launch a goodwill initiative in Atlanta low-income, high-crime neighborhoods and for the department to require officers to receive sensitivity training. The NAACP also recommended that a citizens' review board be created to review incidents like the Johnston killing. Such a board currently exists, but it is toothless and has not reviewed a case in five years.

"I commend the NAACP for their input and involvement on how the Atlanta Police Department conducts business," Chief Richard Pennington said in a statement. "Even though we are currently reviewing our internal policies and procedures, I do not oppose any measure that will strengthen our relationship with the community. I look forward to working together to reclaim the public's trust in our hard-working men and women."

The NAACP's recommendations will be delivered to the Atlanta city council, Mayor Shirley Franklin, and Georgia Supreme Court Justice Leah Ward Sears, White said.

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Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

I'M BEHIND YOU

I totally agree with your positions. If we stand by an do nothing to stop this abuse of power we will become a police state in the near future.

No Knock Searches.

These police are being charged with, among other things, Murder, lying and a host of other charges for their idiotic antics. It only seems fair and just that the Judge who issued this (Okay To Murder) warrant be charged as accessory and conspiracy to commit murder. These people are hired "To Protect and To Serve. They are not hired to "To Terrorize and Murder", then conspire to conceal their brutal acts. Since when did the presumption "Nothing is so valuable or precious as too out weigh the value of a human life" take president? Since the launch of the drug wars? It is of no concern to anyone what another person puts into their bodies. It's okay for our sons and daughters to go fight in an idiotic war and take as much lead into their bodies it they can hold, but they DAM well better not put a drug into it! The Government. The Justice Department and the Law Enforcement Community must get the hell out of the drug business, and stop the murding of our citizens in the name of a war of their own creation.

if i pinch myself hard enough.....

I might wake up....... this has all got to be a bad dream. What terrible depths we have fallen to.

what i have to offer on the matter

i won't go into myself much, but i try to keep up with news regarding the drug war as much as possible...and this tale simply shocked me...and angered me as well. i often have the opportunity to talk about these issues with my parents. they are very understanding, but the interesting thing is they are your average republican christians. I hate to put a label, but they trust george bush, they fear terrorists, and the whole lot. I'm fortunate i can discuss things with them however i find it a good way to "test" so to speak, where not only they are on such matters, but people of like mind. I brought this story up once...and the basic vibe i got from them was...wanting to defend what happened. They defended it becuase in there mind that fear exists. They are so ignorant to the way things work becuase they don't have to be caught up in it. So my point being is that we all need to work really hard to do our part to spread knowledge and education. It won't be easy, and nobody will ever completely agree with us, but if we can use evidence and observation and tie it togethe with tactfull logic perhaps someday more will change. Lets all hope for the best and do what we can to spread knowledge, defeat ignorance, and bring people together through understanding. I feel, i don't even do enough myself, but the cause will always be important to me, and hopefully me and many others will have more opportunities in the future to start making changes so that one day we can have police that are actualy there to "serve and protect" rather then well what alot of them seem to be doing now, but also don't forget, there are some good cops out there...we just need to get the word out more and make more allies. Good luck to all and our passion for the cause!

Knock Knock

I couldn't resist the topic title.
So what difference does a knock or two make? They still do not have to
wait for you to open the door. All they have to do is announce their presence.
Government sucks.

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