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Thread: UPDATE: Cops indicted for murder of 92 year old women

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    Regular Member VAopencarry's Avatar
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    By BILL TORPY
    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    Published on: 02/07/07 Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard will seek criminal charges, including felony murder, against three Atlanta narcotics officers involved in a botched drug raid that resulted in the shooting death of an elderly woman, according to a proposed indictment.

    The proposed indictment drawn up by the prosecutor's office names officers Gregg Junnier, Jason R. Smith and Arthur Tesler. Howard accuses them of felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, burglary, making false statements and violation of oath.

    continued...AtlantaJournalConstitution

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

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    I'm not anti-LEO, but it's about time they were held accountable for their mistakes like everyone else.

    According to the story, the officers blatantly LIED in order to secure a warrant (which itself is a crime), executed a no-knock warrant, and when the 92 year-old lady in the house thought her home was being broken into (because she had NO reason to think it was the cops) and fired at the intruders, they filled her full of lead.

    Since the officers lied in order to get the warrant in the first place, everything they did after that was a criminal act. They were NOT acting like law enforcement officers, and therefore are guilty of murder. They planned their raid, used outright lies to get permission to kick in an innocent woman's door, and then killed her.

    Sounds premeditated to me.

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    I am not anti-LEO either but it does appear in this case that there was a lot of serious misconduct surrounding this case. Those responsible for the death of an innocent person need to pay, and pay dearly.

    Hiding behind a badge is not acceptable.

    But there is more to this than just one bust that went wrong. Maybe it is time to reconsider a lot of things we have come to take for granted these days.

    Isthe "war on drugs" worth the erosion of our liberties that has come along with it? In any case, the so called war has failed by any standard. Maybe it is time to just declare a truce, so we can move on.

    We also need to look at enforcement tactics. The plain fact is that a very large percentage of these no-knock raids are conducted primarily toreduce the potential for destruction of evidence. Is it really worth such a tactic so a minor criminal doesn't flush a few ounces of pot down the john?

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    And this case shows why the Scalia's reliance on "rising police professionalism" to decline to enforce the 4th amendment's judge made exclusionary rule (in warrant approved raids of homes but without waiting at least a few seconds after the knock) was misplaced.

    The pressure on police to "get results" pushes police to cut corners. The exclusionary rule takes some of that pressure off the police, and should remain the case that police must wait a few seconds at least after knocking when serving a warrant.

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    Campaign Veteran Dutch Uncle's Avatar
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    As the years go by, I find myself more and more in agreement with the sentiments of people like Ilbob and Mike. The so-called War on Drugs is clearly a lost cause as it is presently being conducted, and sounds more and more like the ill-conceived prohibition of alcohol in the 1920's. My parents recall that era pretty vividly, and the serious unintended consequences it led to, including the lack of respect for prohibition in particular, and the law in general. (the left's attempt to "prohibit" guns produces the same emotions in me).

    I imagine we've seen videos of no-knock warrants being carried out: "Open up, Police...CRASH!!" all in about 1.5 seconds. Why bother even asking them to open up? The inhabitants would just get a battering ram in the gut if they tried! The whole practive becomes a mockery of itself; something that can lead to tragedies like this, and a general loss of respect for the police and the law.

    While I still have great respect for LOE's and our system of laws, I had to admit a to certain admiration for a 92 year old American woman with the guts to stand up a home invasion! Perhaps the fact that Americans aren't disarmed sheeple will add impetus to the re-examination of the police-state tactics in question.

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    I'm only about 40% anti LEO because I think at least60% of them are worth a sh*t. I thinks its about time they are called on their lawless shooting of that woman. Too many of them seem to think they are above the law, and that they are somehow better than civilians. Guess those arrogant pricks are going to find out otherwise.

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    Lest anyone forget about this incident and the poor woman involved, I ran across this info:

    LINK

    I acknowledge that this story comes from a website whose agenda is anti-drug war, so it may not be exactly "objective", but I don't have reason to believe that the facts presented have been falsified, any more than I would if reading Faux News or the NY Times...

    Some gems:


    The elderly Johnston responded to the intruders dressed in plain clothes by firing one shot from an old pistol, which missed the officers. The narcs responded with a barrage of bullets, firing 39 shots, five or six of which hit Johnston, who died shortly afterward.



    Since then, investigators have found that in the Johnston case:

    • The narcotics officers planted drugs to arrest a suspected drug dealer, who in turn pointed them toward Johnston's residence.
    • The narcotics officers lied on their search warrant application, saying that a confidential informant had bought drugs at that address when that did not happen.
    • The narcotics officers lied on their search warrant application, saying the house was occupied by a large man who employed surveillance cameras.
    • The narcotics officers planted marijuana in Johnston's basement after they shot her in order to bolster their case and impugn her reputation.
    • The narcotics officers asked another confidential informant to lie for them after the fact and say he had bought drugs at Johnston's residence.

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    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    Goofs with badges.


    They pleaded out. I'll bet those girls will be crying, boo hoo hoo, for sentence reduction within a year.


    P.S. I don't see how it could possibly be "anti-LEO" to criticizeand abhorthese chuckleheads for what they did and how much damage they've done to their PD, their city, their county, the institution of LEand their community. And, of course, Kathryn Johnston. It is the height of responsibility to praise and honorLEOs for brave and successful acts they sometimes perform for the public good. So it is highly responsible tounambiguously condemn heinous and murderous acts by power-mad misanthrope LEOs who did what Junnier and Smith did. The entire collective of sworn officers was disgraced by those two JBTs.



    Killing of Kathryn Johnston exposes rot in police ranks

    Published on: 04/30/07

    Atlanta narcotics officers didn't have to lie, didn't have to plant evidence, didn't have to kill an innocent Kathryn Johnston in her own home.

    But they did all three.


    In their war on drugs, the officers succeeded only in putting the Atlanta Police Department on trial, under suspicion of unreasonable pressure for arrests and possibly wider corruption.

    The best that can be hoped is that Gregg Junnier and Jason Smith were no more than rogue cops, out to bust drug dealers at any cost. The worst to be feared is that the Atlanta Police Department breeds contempt for the law instead of instilling a devotion to enforce it.

    It is not encouraging that U.S. Attorney David Nahmias said he expects to discover other cases in which police in the Atlanta department obtained search warrants illegally or used faulty information to do so, as the narcotics officers did. That's disheartening, because the Johnston case is distressing enough on its own.

    This much is known: Junnier, Smith and another officer, Arthur Tesler, raided Johnston's home in northwest Atlanta last November on the basis of a concocted drug story that won them a no-knock search warrant for her house.

    When Junnier and Smith barreled through Johnston's front door, she fired at them with a .38 revolver — and missed. In response, Junnier, Smith and Tesler — who had been at the back door — fired 39 times, hitting the elderly Johnston five or six times. It's not clear whose bullet killed her.

    No drugs were found in Johnston's house, so Smith planted three bags of marijuana in her basement, according to court documents. They later falsely claimed in an incident report that they were led to Johnston's home because Alex White, one of their regular informants, had bought crack there. The officers also tried to bribe White into backing their story. Instead, he told the truth to authorities.

    Last week, Junnier and Smith pled guilty to voluntary manslaughter and other state charges, and to a federal charge of civil rights conspiracy that resulted in death. They face 10 years and more than 12 years in prison, respectively, and will cooperate with authorities in the FBI's continuing investigation of the Atlanta Police Department.

    Tesler was charged with making false statements and with false imprisonment. He has said he will contest the charges.

    The Johnston case should not be considered closed when those charges are resolved. Instead, it should be used to raise issues that the citizens of Atlanta and the Atlanta Police Department need to address:

    • Are officers under undue pressure to meet quotas, as the investigators have stated?

    • Should police abandon no-knock warrants? They're meant to provide the element of surprise, but clearly carry the risk that a panicked citizen will fire at police and be killed in return.

    • Does the current strategy of pursuing street-level drug users and dealers make sense? It accounts for easy arrests but produces no real progress against illegal drug use.

    Finding the answers to those questions is the least the city can do for itself — and for Kathryn Johnston.

    http://www.ajc.com/opinion/content/o...30eddrugs.html




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    http://www.breitbart.com/article.php...1&catnum=1

    Ex-Atlanta cops sentenced in deadly botched raid

    ATLANTA (AP) - A federal judge sentenced three former Atlanta police officers to prison Tuesday for their part in a botched drug raid that ended with the death of an elderly woman in a hail of gunfire. Jason R. Smith, Gregg Junnier and Arthur Tesler received sentences ranging from five years to 10. Kathryn Johnston, 92, was killed by police gunfire during the 2006 raid at her home.

    After receiving an incorrect tip from a known drug dealer, police used a "no-knock" warrant to enter Johnston's house to look for drugs. As they tried to break in, Johnston fired a single shot through the door with a rusty revolver and the officers fired 39 bullets in return. Prosecutors say officers found no drugs inside the house and tried to cover up the mistake by planting baggies of marijuana.

    U.S. District Judge Julie E. Carnes sentenced Smith to 10 years in federal prison. She sentenced Junnier to six years and Tesler to five.

    Prosecutors lowered their recommended sentences for Junnier, 42, and Smith, 36. They asked for about 10 years for Smith and five or six years for Junnier because they said the men cooperated with authorities. They did not, however, lower their recommended sentence—about 10 years—for Tesler, 42.

    The judge said Tuesday she agreed that Smith should have the longest sentence because he provided false information in a sworn statement to secure the no-knock warrant and participated extensively in a cover-up after the incident.

    Junnier, the senior of the three, played the biggest role in an ongoing and systematic violation of rules that eventually led to Johnston's death on Nov. 21, 2006, Carnes said. She said she had some reservations about the prosecution's generosity toward Junnier, which was based on the fact that he told the truth first and cooperated extensively with the government. But she decided to follow prosecution guidelines and give him a substantial reduction.

    The judge said Tesler was a "minor participant overall" and lowered his sentence to five years. She said the government's recommendations for him were "unduly harsh."
    All the men will receive credit for time already served and will get three years supervised release after they serve their sentences. Carnes also ordered them to split the cost of reimbursing Johnston's estate $8,180 for funeral and burial expenses.

    U.S. attorney David Nahmias said after the hearing that the incident has had two positive outcomes. First, it led Atlanta police to reform training and supervision and to revamp their narcotics unit. Second, the sentences send a "strong message" to other police officers who might be tempted to break the law.

    The Rev. Markel Hutchins, spokesman for Johnston's family, spoke by telephone to her niece and closest living relative, Sarah Dozier, 76, of Atlanta after the sentencing. "She certainly breathed a sigh of relief that there is nearly some resolution, particularly with regard to these officers," he said.

    Hutchins said Dozier was sympathetic to the officers' families because she believes they were victims as well. "Her aspiration has always been justice and not a sense of revenge," he said.

    The three men earlier had each pleaded guilty to the federal charge of conspiring to violate Johnston's civil rights.

    Smith and Junnier also pleaded guilty to state charges, including manslaughter. They are set to be sentenced on those charges next month. Under their plea agreements, their state sentences will be served concurrently with their federal punishment.
    Tesler was sentenced in May to four and a half years in prison on a state charge for lying to FBI agents, but that conviction was overturned on appeal last month.

    Tesler, who did not fire a shot, was in Johnston's back yard when plainclothes officers burst in through the front door.

    Carnes on Monday heard emotional, often tearful, testimony from the three former officers and their friends and family. She said she was touched by the "wrenching" stories and believes all three are good men who used bad judgment. She said she thinks they will be able to live good lives and redeem themselves after serving their sentences.

    Lawyers for all three men said they had hoped for lesser sentences but praised the judge for weighing the facts in the case.

    "There are no winners in this case," said Smith's attorney, John Garland. "There are only losers."



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    IMHO they got off darned**(*) light for frameing and murdering a law abiding and innocent citizen in her own home. If any of us on this site had committed anything near this horrible not even considering doing so under color of law we would and should have never seen the light of day outside of a prison cell. I further conceed different state and circumstances but the border patrol agents in Texas got treated more harshly for shooting a real BG. No justice in Atlanta. Plus they were terrible shots. 5 hits of 39 on a 92 year old who couldn't have been running very fast RANT OFF

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    buzzsaw wrote:
    IMHO they got off darned**(*) light for frameing and murdering a law abiding and innocent citizen in her own home. If any of us on this site had committed anything near this horrible not even considering doing so under color of law we would and should have never seen the light of day outside of a prison cell. I further conceed different state and circumstances but the border patrol agents in Texas got treated more harshly for shooting a real BG. No justice in Atlanta. Plus they were terrible shots. 5 hits of 39 on a 92 year old who couldn't have been running very fast RANT OFF
    +1

    Disgusting.

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    un effing believeable.

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    MetalChris wrote:
    buzzsaw wrote:
    IMHO they got off darned**(*) light for frameing and murdering a law abiding and innocent citizen in her own home. If any of us on this site had committed anything near this horrible not even considering doing so under color of law we would and should have never seen the light of day outside of a prison cell. I further conceed different state and circumstances but the border patrol agents in Texas got treated more harshly for shooting a real BG. No justice in Atlanta. Plus they were terrible shots. 5 hits of 39 on a 92 year old who couldn't have been running very fast RANT OFF
    +1

    Disgusting.
    +2
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    mark edward marchiafava wrote:
    For the life of me, I just cannot comprehend how ANYone, after reading this story, can still say with a straight face " I am not anti-LEO." For those of you, I have but one question: what ELSE will it take to change your mind? Does it have to happen to YOU or YOURS before it hits home?
    +1M...nothing else needs to be said

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    mark edward marchiafava wrote:
    For the life of me, I just cannot comprehend how ANYone, after reading this story, can still say with a straight face " I am not anti-LEO." For those of you, I have but one question: what ELSE will it take to change your mind? Does it have to happen to YOU or YOURS before it hits home?
    +2,000,000
    "The fourth man's dark, accusing song had scratched our comfort hard and long..."
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    duh, its only the 1% that do this... yea right...

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    "Happiness is a warm shotgun!!"
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    SFCRetired wrote:
    mark edward marchiafava wrote:
    For the life of me, I just cannot comprehend how ANYone, after reading this story, can still say with a straight face " I am not anti-LEO." For those of you, I have but one question: what ELSE will it take to change your mind? Does it have to happen to YOU or YOURS before it hits home?
    Because I've known too many good, honest men and women in law enforcement to paint all of them with the same tar brush that I would paint those three in Atlanta.

    I was talking one night with a good friend of mine who was on duty. Events unfolded that night that allowed me to witness a police officer with every right to pull the trigger who showed a lot more restraint than I, or most of us on this board, would have.

    This.

    Not to mention I would be condemning several of my own family members.

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    I wonder if Ms. Johnston's shot had hit and killed one of the officers breaking down her door, and she had somehow managed to survive, if she would be sharing a similar fate to that of Ryan Frederick?

    The circumstances of these two cases are remarkably similar, except for the person who was killed, and the person who ended up in jail.

    TFred


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    TFred wrote:
    I wonder if Ms. Johnston's shot had hit and killed one of the officers breaking down her door, and she had somehow managed to survive, if she would be sharing a similar fate to that of Ryan Frederick?

    The circumstances of these two cases are remarkably similar, except for the person who was killed, and the person who ended up in jail.

    TFred
    That was my thought, precisely, when I highlighted 'through the door'.

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    Wonder if they're gonna meet that 6'5" tall 400 pound fella named "Bubba" in prison
    edited for typo
    Laws that forbid the carrying of arms... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man. Thomas Jefferson

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    Not usually as I understand it. ex-LEO are granted protective custody.

    Perhaps there is a solution to the inequality problem. If cops knew that they would join their former clients in the general population then they might be accorded the respect of fellow citizens and human beings.

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    mark edward marchiafava wrote:
    For the life of me, I just cannot comprehend how ANYone, after reading this story, can still say with a straight face " I am not anti-LEO." For those of you, I have but one question: what ELSE will it take to change your mind? Does it have to happen to YOU or YOURS before it hits home?
    I'm not, but then I don't see any point to unfocused rage. I'm all about focused rage.

    I don't think you'll find ANYBODY who would accuse me of being a cop "fanboi". I have plenty of criticisms of cops, but they're SPECIFIC criticisms about specific acts, people and organizations. I don't waste time on "I'm against LEOs" because it's just gibberish of the same quality (or lack thereof) of the fawning paeans to the police you see from their fawning, unquestioning idolators.

    Talk specifics. Talk specific solutions. Don't just talk for its own sake.
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    buzzsaw wrote:
    IMHO they got off darned**(*) light for frameing and murdering a law abiding and innocent citizen in her own home. If any of us on this site had committed anything near this horrible not even considering doing so under color of law we would and should have never seen the light of day outside of a prison cell. I further conceed different state and circumstances but the border patrol agents in Texas got treated more harshly for shooting a real BG. No justice in Atlanta. Plus they were terrible shots. 5 hits of 39 on a 92 year old who couldn't have been running very fast RANT OFF
    They should have all gotten the death penalty under the felony murder rule.
    --- Gun control: The theory that 110lb. women have the "right" to fistfight with 210lb. rapists.

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    Doug Huffman wrote:
    Not usually as I understand it. ex-LEO are granted protective custody.

    Perhaps there is a solution to the inequality problem. If cops knew that they would join their former clients in the general population then they might be accorded the respect of fellow citizens and human beings.
    They should be put in with the general population.

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