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Two More Drug War Deaths

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #710)
Drug War Issues

An Atlanta-area man was killed in a drug raid over the weekend, and a coroner's report shows that a pregnant Georgia teenager died after trying to hide drugs during a traffic stop earlier this year. Dwight Person and Megan Long become the 43rd and 44th persons to die during US domestic drug law enforcement operations so far this year.

In East Point, Georgia, an East Point police officer shot and killed Person during a Friday afternoon narcotics raid at a suspected drug house. According to police, officers with the department's narcotics unit arrived at a home where they had previously purchased drugs. Seven people were inside.

"One of the people made a threatening move towards the officer and he ignored a verbal command to stop," said Lt. Chris Chandler. "Fearing for her safety, the officer fired one shot and hit the individual in the chest."

The victim, Dwight Person, was rushed to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Police have not revealed whether they recovered any weapons or drugs, but they arrested seven people at the residence.

Person's mother, Verdelle Person, told My Fox Atlanta that her 54-year-old son was the father of two, a military veteran, and a gentle person. "Ain't no way in the world he would have fought with an officer. That's from the bottom of my heart. I'd stand on a stack of bibles. He wouldn't have fought no officer," she said. "He was a good hearted person. He was helping people and a lot of times I would tell him, you don't know those people. He said, mama they need help, the car broke down. He'd get out and help people anytime. That's the type of person he was. He wasn't an aggressive person, a mean person," said Person.

Person had just gone to visit his nephew at the address, family members said.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is now reviewing the shooting.

Person's killing has raised hackles in Atlanta, where police infamously shot and killed 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston in a botched 2006 drug raid, and where the killings of young black men by police, including Joetavius Stafford, 19, who was shot and killed at a subway station October 15, have heightened police-community tensions.

Occupy Atlanta announced it was holding a protest march Monday against the "reckless and wanton police murders of fellow Atlantans" and police brutality in general. "With each passing month, many of Atlanta's residents, especially its African-American population, feel increasingly targeted by police," the group said in a press release. "The police continue to kill because they do not face the consequences of their actions."

The second drug war death, that of Megan Long, actually occurred in September. Long was hospitalized after a traffic stop while traveling with her mother and boyfriend, first losing the fetus she was carrying on September 2, then dying herself two days later. But the cause of death, a methamphetamine overdose, was not revealed until last week, when the coroner's office released a toxicology report.

According to Long's father, when Long, her mother, and her boyfriend were pulled over by police, Long's mother told her to hide a bag of meth, and she stuffed the drugs inside her vagina. Later that night, she began having seizure-like symptoms and died after being hospitalized.

In another media report, Long's father elaborated: "They had got pulled over and she stuffed a quarter ounce insider her and when they got here they were going to take it back out, but there wasn't anything left but a bag."

No charges have yet been filed in Long's case, but both the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Murray County District Attorney's Office are looking into it.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


kickback (not verified)

Paramilitary SWAT [ South West Atlanta ] units need to justify their existence by executing routine drug warrants in poor black neighborhoods. What else are you going to do ? Go to north Atlanta and SWAT bust some white yuppies in a McMansion subdivision that is gated. Of course not. They might have money and connections. Plus it would cause a scene and upset the residents.  This is true all over the country. You would think that it would be worse in south Georgia. But hell nahhh. It`s metro Atlanta folks.

Mon, 11/21/2011 - 9:44pm Permalink
Kada (not verified)

Police don't continue to kill us...They continue to MURDER us.

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 2:25pm Permalink
Followtherules (not verified)

Race and economic status aside...


If you aren't involved with illegal drugs (or the misuse of prescription drugs) then SWAT will have no legal reason for kicking down your door. I have no idea why people make the drug issue so complicated when it's really simple: Don't involve yourself with drugs, you aren't breaking any laws; you aren't breaking any laws, you don't go to jail.

The punishments do not always fit the crime, I can concede that. This is a result of outdated policies and legislation. If you are one of the many that feels this way, you may advocate for changing the laws and penalties. However, disagreeing with the current penalty and/or law does not give you exemption from the current punishment. "I don't think marijuana should be illegal, so I will use/sell it regardless of what the law states" is an ignorant stance and will fetch you serious consequences for taking. I have no sympathy for anyone, be you the poor black man who dropped out of high school to make quick money selling drugs, or the doctor that abused his position to attain and sell medicinal quality cocaine (happened in my community), that gets busted and imprisoned. Ever one knows the laws, and even if you don't, ignorance of the law does not grant innocence.

Wed, 11/23/2011 - 12:27am Permalink
Moonrider (not verified)

In reply to by Followtherules (not verified)


Whenever someone posts “but it’s the LAW” or something similar, this is how I respond:
The laws which criminalized some drugs are not Constitutional laws because they violate the unalienable right to self ownership. No Constitutional Amendment was passed and ratified to allow the government to regulate what one may ingest for whatever reason, therefore these laws violate the Constitution, and since they violate the Constitution they are NOT legally enforceable.
“Consider this opinion of the Supreme Court:”
“An unconstitutional law cannot operate to supersede any existing valid law.
Indeed, insofar as a statute runs counter to the fundamental law of the land, it is superseded thereby.
No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it.
– Sixteenth American Jurisprudence, Second Edition, Section 177. (late 2nd Ed. Section 256)”

To my knowledge this ruling has never been overturned so it stands in spite of what rulings have followed it.

Wed, 11/23/2011 - 3:40am Permalink
REVOLT 2012 (not verified)

In reply to by Followtherules (not verified)

the laws are written to make everything a crime. I do not use drugs but joined this war because of the unjust and flat wrong doing of the government. I have lost all respect for law enforcement and government because of the hypocrisy and corruption they stand for. To tell a person what they can not do inside their home, even if it effects no one else, is wrong and the government has no right to jail people for it. Also the cops plant drugs on innocent people so trying to keep your nose clean does not work here in america so i don't want to hear that shit

Fri, 11/25/2011 - 11:56am Permalink
REVOLT 2012 (not verified)

I think the family should sue the piss out of the government and hold the cops responsible. If the cops around here didn't pull over people and hunt until they find a reason to take you to jail this young lady and her unborn child would be alive. The police around here are after money and drugs themselves and pull over people at random to find a reason to take them to jail. its sad you have to worry about going to jail because the cops have arrest quotas to meet, even if it means killing innocent people like the girl in this story, and if you get stopped for doing nothing wrong they make false tickets or plant drugs on people.. the communist government of america needs to be stopped

Fri, 11/25/2011 - 11:49am Permalink

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