Police Admit to Killing 92 Year Old Woman

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Lex, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. Lex

    Lex
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    As issues of privacy, search and seizure, race and police incompetence collide (and collude).

    From CNN.com

    ATLANTA, Georgia (AP) -- A police officer and a former officer pleaded guilty Thursday to manslaughter in the shooting death of a 92-year-old woman during a botched drug raid last fall. Another officer still faces charges in the woman's death.


    Officer J.R. Smith told the judge Thursday that he regretted what had happened.


    "I'm sorry," the 35-year-old said, his voice barely audible. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter, violation of oath, criminal solicitation, making false statements and perjury, which was based on untrue claims in a warrant.


    Former Officer Gregg Junnier, 40, who retired from the Atlanta police force in January, pleaded guilty to manslaughter, violation of oath, criminal solicitation and making false statements. Both men are expected to face more than 10 years in prison.


    The charges followed a November 21 "no-knock" drug raid on the home of Kathryn Johnston, 92. An informant had described buying drugs from a dealer there, police said. When the officers burst in without warning, Johnston fired at them, and they fired back, killing her.


    Fulton County prosecutor Peter Johnson disclosed Thursday that the officers involved in Johnston's death fired 39 shots, striking her five or six times, including a fatal blow to the chest.


    He said Johnston only fired once through her door and didn't hit any of the officers. That means the officers who were wounded likely were hit by their own colleagues, he said.


    Junnier and Smith, who is on administrative leave, had been charged in an indictment unsealed earlier Thursday with felony murder, violation of oath by a public officer, criminal solicitation, burglary, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and making false statements.


    The other officer, Arthur Tesler, also on administrative leave, was charged with violation of oath by a public officer, making false statements and false imprisonment under color of legal process. His attorney, William McKenney, said Tesler expects to go to trial.


    Tesler, 40, is "very relieved" not to face murder charges, McKenney said, "but we're concerned about the three charges."


    In Junnier's and Smith's cases, prosecutors asked the judge Thursday to withhold sentencing until after a hearing later Thursday in federal court where both are expected to enter pleas.


    U.S. Attorney David Nahmias told The Associated Press that the recommended federal sentence for Junnier will be 10 years and one month in prison, and for Smith, 12 years, seven months. The state and federal sentences are expected to run concurrently.


    Both men could have faced up to life in prison had they been convicted of murder.


    The deadly drug raid had been set up after narcotics officers said an informant had claimed there was cocaine in the home.


    When the plainclothes officers burst in without notice, police said Johnston fired at them and they fired back. No cocaine was found.
    The case raised serious questions about no-knock warrants and whether the officers followed proper procedures.


    Atlanta Police Chief Richard Pennington asked the FBI to lead a multi-agency investigation of the shootout. He also announced policy changes to require the department to drug-test its nearly 1,800 officers and mandate that top supervisors sign off on narcotics operations and no-knock warrants.


    To get the warrant, officers told a magistrate judge that an undercover informant had told them Johnston's home had surveillance cameras monitored carefully by a drug dealer named "Sam."


    After the shooting, a man claiming to be the informant told a television station that he never purchased drugs there, prompting Pennington to admit he was uncertain whether the suspected drug dealer actually existed.
    The Rev. Markel Hutchins, a civil rights activist who serves as a spokesman for Johnston's family, said the family was satisfied with Thursday's developments.


    "They have never sought vengeance. They have only sought justice," he said.


    Hutchins said the family is considering civil action against the police department.


    "I think what happened today makes it very clear that Ms. Johnston was violated, that her civil rights were violated," he said.
     
  2. jfrsndvs

    jfrsndvs Member

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    what a extremely sad thing, as far as I am concerned, they sentence wasn't near long enough. I do hope that the family sues the hell out of the department.

    there was no excuse for the number of shots that was fired, and there sure as hell no excuse what so ever for the number of times that this old lady was hit.
     
  3. Principessa

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    I was in Georgia when this happend, visiting my parents.

    It was clear even then the cops involved were completely wrong.
    I'm just amazed they reached a verdict so quickly. Ten years is a light sentence, but given the fact they are cops I guess we are lucky they are doing time at all.





     
  4. DC_DEEP

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    Didn't she deserve to get shot to death, if she had the audacity to live in a house that a (paid?) strung-out informant claimed had drugs in it?

    Seriously, how can anyone agree with the tactics used here, especially the "no-knock" raid and the easy-breezy "warrants"? Shouldn't cops have to research their informants' stories even just a tiny little bit? Right. Even if granny was doing lines & stoking the crack pipe in her living room, I'm sure she (at the spry and lively young age of 92) could easily have sprinted out the back window, had the police knocked before entering.
     
  5. madame_zora

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    I can think of no legitimate reason ever for a no knock warrant. This is among the worst things this administration has done to our country. If the police don't even have to identify themselves and can enter our homes without permission, then what the FUCK are we fighting for abroad?
     
  6. AlteredEgo

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    That could have been my Grandma. If her door flys open she'll run into the room where she keeps the shotgun and fire. In fact, if I'm in her house, and her door flys open, I'll be the one holding the shotgun. She's blind. That's just safer. LOL

    Serieously though. I was talking to my other grandmother about it, and we were wondering why the word of a criminal (and let's be real, "informants" are criminals turned snitch) is enough to get a warrant, far less a no-knock warrant, to enter a person's home. Whatever happened to probable cause? How the hell does hearsay equate? Doesn't the Constitution promise us that the authorities will not just barge into our houses? Maybe I've misunderstood the wording; that's been known to happen.

    I thought our government was purporting to protect us from criminals, not collude with them. Then again, what's the difference between government criminals anymore?
     
  7. B_big dirigible

    B_big dirigible New Member

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    Police in Georgia are the fault of "this adminstration"?

    I know it's assumed to be at fault for everything including the weather, but isn't tacking Georgia on going a bit far?

    If you blame the wrong causes, you can't possibly find a solution.
     
  8. DC_DEEP

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    Well, yes and no it's the "fault of the administration." These "no-knock" cases have been going on for a while, and many have gone up through the court systems, all the way up to the Supreme Court. Our current USSC invariably rules in favor of the police who perform these "bash-down-the-door-shoot-'em-up-ask-questions-later" tactics. Yes, there are some justices who were not appointed by the current administration, but some were, and several more tend to side more with the current administration than some of the others. And these cases have to go through the US district courts before they get to the supreme court - district courts with, of course, presidentially-appointed US attorneys.

    When these courts (illegally) tell the cops it's ok to do it, then of course, the cops will do it. Fuck that pesky 4th Amendment anyhow. It just gets in the way.
     
  9. Lex

    Lex
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    The right of the Iraqi democratic government to violate their citizens' rights in the name of the government and safety, obviously.
     
  10. Shelby

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    This abominable practice was sanctioned by the Supreme Court during the Clinton administration.
     
  11. DC_DEEP

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    And proof positive that every single idiot who joined the majority opinion on that one should be impeached, because they obviously have no clue about Constitutional law.
     
  12. madame_zora

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    Yes, it is the fault of the administration that that little bit in the second Patriot Act allowed for these no-knock warrants to be used more widely. I posted a thread on it when it happened. I hold the administration responsible for every piece of shit that fucking act "legalised", and it is my personal opinion that EVERYONE who voted for it, repub or dem should be fired without the possibility of ever running for any poitical office again.

    Passing legisaltion clearly in conflict with the Constitution is (or should be) illegal. I have no respect at all for my government, since it clearly has no respect for the foundation on which it was built. We are currently under the domination of an illegal government, and the only real question now is what to do about it. I'm not joking one iota.

    You can't really expect your average street cop with an iq of less-than-average to adequately interpret law. Putting tools like this in the hands of the less-than-capable is sure to lead to these results.

    But who really cares if a few niggers and spics get killed in the name of fighting crime?
     
  13. faceking

    faceking Well-Known Member

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    Wow... why do libs hate the military, police, and religion so much.. why? Those three do so much good 99.9999999999999% of the time... yet the bad apples, seem to be assumed the norm. I forgot to also include why you hate the United States so much too... seriously.
     
  14. faceking

    faceking Well-Known Member

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    Lighten up , Francis.
     
  15. DC_DEEP

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    Newsflash: libs DON'T hate the military, the police, or religion. Cons do. Us libs just hate it when those three things are misused/abused, and the cons think it's justified.
     
  16. Lex

    Lex
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    True that. Also, last I checked the police (operating like this, which happens much more often than not) come across as the SAME as organized crime thugs. These type of violations go on a lot in urban and rural areas simply because most citizens are not aware that their rights are being violated and they have come to accept this type of violation as routine.

    As AlteredEgoBombShellBronnxBabe has said, the police are straight gangstas.
     
  17. DC_DEEP

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    For what it may possibly be worth, would you care to tell us about your military service?
     
  18. Wrat

    Wrat New Member

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    As mentioned above, in the middle, between the eas
    Police have always been that way. The current administration didn't make them that way. There has never been a time when no knock raids were completely illegal. Wilson v. Arkansas was not the moment when it was suddenly okay to do this. It is for the safety of the police officers conducting the raid. Regardless of what you think about police officers it would be hard to argue with that, unless of course you just don't have the ability to think.

    DC_Deep sez:

    "These "no-knock" cases have been going on for a while, and many have gone up through the court systems, all the way up to the Supreme Court. Our current USSC invariably rules in favor of the police who perform these "bash-down-the-door-shoot-'em-up-ask-questions-later" tactics."

    Huh? How many times does the US Supreme court have to rule on one issue? Why don't you go and look up a few dozen of these cases you are talking about. Brief a few cases for us and give us the skinny on USSC involvement in this kind of thing. Clarity, accuracy, precision, relevance, depth, breadth, significance, logic and fairness all count for points.
    Supreme Court of the United States
     
  19. DC_DEEP

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    You are clearly much more brilliant than am I. I will allow you the distinction of doing your own homework. Thank you.

    P. S. You are definitely right, it is perfectly acceptable to periodically kill off a few 92-year-old grannies in the name of the war on drugs. The grannies have already contributed all they are going to, to society, anyway, haven't they? They are expendable.
     
  20. madame_zora

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    I can see you had no actual point whatsoever. If you aren't mad about the Patriot Act and its follow up, I'd have to imagine that's because you haven't read it.

    As for hating military/church/US of A, you are an ignorant man if you believe that. How many dems do you think fought in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam? How many do you think are in Iraq even as we speak? Stupid motherfucker.

    I hate people dying needlessly in a war that makes no sense because our administration is too incompetent to even find out if there's just cause before sending our troops there.

    I hate churches and organisations lying and guilt tripping to control people into believing and voting for specific causes, which have nothing to do with our government. Political grandstanding by churches is sickening.

    I hate the USA for falling so short of our potential, and allowing our loss of respect worldwide, because our egos just won't let us see what's happening right before our very eyes. We used to stand for more than this, it's embarrassing.

    Faceking, when you can counter an actual point, I'd love to hear it. Obviously, I don't give you enough credit for that, so I'll just be expecting another useless airy comment.
     
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