No Knock and No Crack, Pt. 3
By Jordan Smith,
9:51AM, Fri. May 4, 2007
There were more – and even more disturbing – revelations out of Atlanta last week in the ongoing story of 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston, who was killed by Atlanta PD during a bogus drug raid at her house on Nov. 21 – including that police actually planted pot in Johnston’s basement to bolster their insistence that drugs were being dealt from her home.
To recap: Atlanta narco officers obtained a so-called “no-knock” warrant – allowing police to enter unannounced – to conduct a drug raid at Johnston’s Northwest Atlanta home. Police obtained the warrant from a magistrate by claiming a confidential informant told them a man named “Sam” was dealing crack out of the small house. They needed the no-knock warrant, they averred, because Sam was known to monitor surveillance cameras at the house. The plainclothes cops cut through Johnston’s burglar bars and stormed through the door, only to be met by Johnston who, apparently thinking the men were intruders, fired a .38 revolver at them in an attempt to defend herself and her home. Johnston’s bullets failed to hit anyone, but prompted police to unleash a torrent of return fire – 39 rounds in all – striking the 92-year-old woman five or six times, killing her.
In the aftermath of the incident police said they hadn’t found any crack, but said they did find marijuana. Last week, however, officials revealed that Officer Jason Smith actually planted the three bags of pot police “found” in Johnston’s basement – part of the cops’ shameful cover up. Indeed, back in November, another confidential informant, Alex White, came forward to say that he never told them Johnston’s was a crack house – moreover, he told a Fox affiliate that the cops approached him after the shooting, asking him – well, really, trying to bribe him – to go along with their claims. Needless to say, that backfired.
Smith and fellow Officer Gregg Junnier last week pleaded guilty to a handful of state criminal charges, including voluntary manslaughter, and to a federal charge of “civil rights conspiracy that resulted in death,” reports the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The charges could net each officer at least a decade behind bars.