No Knock and No Crack, Pt. 4
Was the drug raid that took life of 92-year-old in Atlanta in 2006 caused by a quota system at police department?
By Jordan Smith,
11:25AM, Mon. Nov. 10, 2008
Some of the corruption uncovered in the Atlanta Police Dept. narco unit can be attributed to "the nine and two" -- a quota system requiring drug officers to make nine arrests and two warrants each month, attorney William McKenney told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Its difficult to stay within a quota and abide by the rules," he said.
McKenney represents APD narco officer Arthur Tesler, who last month pleaded guilty to federal charges in connection with the botched raid that caused the death in 2006 of 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston in her own home. Johnston was shot and killed by narco officers during an no-knock raid of her house. The raid was in error and the killing sparked a reexamination of APD drug enforcement activities as well as an independent investigation by the feds.
But McKenney said the federal investigators failed to get to the root causes of corruption within the unit -- including where the nine-and-two rule came from and "why there was no accountability in that unit. That was a real failure," he said.
Indeed, narco officers told investigators that they cut corners in their investigations, faked search warrants, planted drugs and raided homes all because of pressure from superiors to make arrests, the daily reported. Superiors have denied the charges.
So far, three officers have pleaded guilty to civil rights charges in connection with Johnston's death and two others, including one supervisor, Sgt. Wilbert Stallings, have pleaded guilty to charges connected to other cases. Three other officers have been suspended as a result of the federal investigation.
In all, U.S. Attorney David Nahmias told the daily that there is one simple motive that could account for the various illegal actions by the APD narcos: "It's just easier to do your job as a narcotics officer if you just don't follow the rules."