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Thread: Officer admits to Lieing to get No Knock that killed 92 year old woman

  1. #1
    Regular Member VAopencarry's Avatar
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    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    Published on: 01/11/07 An Atlanta police narcotics officer has told federal investigators at least one member of his unit lied about making a drug buy at the home of an elderly woman killed in a subsequent raid, according to a person close to the investigation.
    In an affidavit to get a search warrant at the home Nov. 21, narcotics officer Jason R. Smith told a magistrate he and Officer Arthur Tesler had a confidential informant buy $50 worth of crack at 933 Neal St. from a man named "Sam."
    But narcotics officer Gregg Junnier, who was wounded in the shootout, has since told federal investigators that did not happen, according to the person close to the investigation. Police got a no-knock warrant after claiming that "Sam" had surveillance cameras outside the Neal Street residence and they needed the element of surprise to capture him and the drugs.
    The resident at the home, Kathryn Johnston, who is reported to be either 88 or 92, was startled by the sound of her burglar-bar door being battered in, and she fired her revolver at the officers. She was killed and three officers were wounded by gunfire or shrapnel.
    Buddy Parker, a former federal prosecutor, said that officers who lied to the magistrate could face serious charges in addition to making false statements to a judge.
    "If that was the case, you have a conspiracy," said Parker. "If you have a warrantless entry, you have no legal investigation. It can be either conscious disregard for the law and all conduct flowing from that is criminal — the entry, the homicide. It's no different from people going in to rob a bank and kill someone in a shooting."
    U.S Attorney David Nahmias declined to comment on whether Junnier was cooperating in the investigation.
    Rand Csehy, attorney for Junnier, an 18-year police veteran who retired last week, would only say his client has cooperated.
    Tesler's attorney, Bill McKenney, would only say, "My guy has told the truth." But the attorney would not say whom Tesler has spoken with or what he said.
    Smith's attorney, Ed Garland, did not return phone calls.
    All eight officers on the narcotics team were placed on paid leave pending the investigation by federal, state and Fulton County authorities.
    Junnier has told investigators the arrest of a suspected small-time dealer named Fabian Sheats that afternoon set the fatal set of circumstances in motion. According to police reports, Sheats, who was arrested for the third time in four months, told police that he had seen a kilogram of cocaine at the Neal Street home earlier that day.
    A relative of Sheats said Wednesday he is being held in jail as a government witness,
    The narcotics team tried to contact Alex White, who has worked as a confidential informant, to buy drugs at the house but was unable to get him to come quickly, the person told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "But they rushed it" and went to the magistrate, telling the judge the story about an informant buying the drugs, said the person close to the investigation.
    Alex White came forward to authorities a day after the shooting, saying narcotics officers were trying to tell him to lie and say he bought drugs at the house. White came to light after he jumped out of an Atlanta squad car Nov. 22 and called 911.
    On a 911 tape, an insistent and anxious-sounding man identifying himself as White told an operator, "I have two cops chasing me. They're on the dirty side, two undercover officers."
    Later, White, who acknowledged having worked as a confidential informant, told WAGA the cops told him "you need to cover our [rear]. . . . It's all on you man. . . . You need to tell them about this Sam dude." According to the WAGA report, the informant said Sam didn't exist and he never went to the house. Speaking Wednesday night at a town hall meeting where dozens of speakers railed against the police action in the Johnston shooting, State Sen. Vincent Fort (D-Atlanta) said he plans to introduce legislation to stiffen the requirements for no-knock warrants.
    "I'm outraged," Fort said, "about how things went down on Nov. 21."

    Atlanta news
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson

  2. #2
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    This is a disgusting development in the case. No-knock raids need to be heavily restricted for this and other reasons.

    Radley Balko from Cato has been working on the subject of no-knock raids. His exposure of the history and rights-squashing consequences, including homicide, are available at: This page gives links to his articles. Look midway down the page for: "Wrong Door" "No Swat"

    The information is astounding. The Atlanta incident isn't even close to the first no-knock raid with a shocking outcome.

    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

  3. #3
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    Good catch, the hits keep on coming in this case.

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    Provided the informant is telling the truth, he is a pretty brave man.

  5. #5
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    I guess this undercut's the Supreme Court's recent ruling in Hudson v. Michigan, 126 S. Ct. 2159 (U.S. 2006) (holding that the evidentiary exclusionary rule when police violate the "knock and announce" rule no longer applies due to a rising level of "police professionalism"), Scalia, J., writing forthe 5-4 majority.

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