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Another Raid Gone Wrong: 92-Year-Old Woman Killed, 3 Officers Injured

Submitted by smorgan on
Again and again, it just keeps happening. This time a 92-year-old woman was killed after shooting three officers in a no-knock drug raid on her home. Officers claim that drugs were purchased at the home, but from a man who remains unidentified at this time.

More importantly, a 92-year-old woman named Kathryn Johnston died defending her home against intruders who broke in without announcing themselves. She lived quite a long life only to die an innocent death at the hands of public servants.

Radley Balko sums it up best:

Paramilitary tactics don't defuse violent situations, as police groups and their supporters sometimes claim. They create them. They make things more volatile for everyone -- cops, suspects, and bystanders. Does anyone honestly believe that Ms. Johnson would have opened fire had a couple of uniformed officers politely knocked on her door, showed her a warrant, and asked if they could come inside?

Violating the sanctity of the home with a violent, forced entry -- all to enforce laws against consensual acts -- simply isn't compatible with any honest notion of a free society.

Police can have their submachine guns and bulletproof vests. They can have their blast shields and helmets. They may surround homes in order to prevent the escape of suspects, and if they have a warrant supported by probable cause to believe criminal activity is taking place inside, they may initiate contact. What more do they need? Why must they invade homes anonymously like burglars or rapists? Why, after so many innocent people have died, does this recklessness continue?

The sad answer is that the drug war accepts the death of innocent people as a necessary casualty. The drug war turns police into soldiers whose lives are valued above those of the innocent people they fight to protect.

It’s time to bring home the troops.

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