Cops Admit To Planting Marijuana on 92 Year Old Woman.......

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TheResistance
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01 May 2007, 11:03 am

Cops Admit To Planting Marijuana on 92 Year Old Woman Killed in Botched Drug Raid :x

Associated Press | April 30, 2007
Harry R. Weber

ATLANTA — Two police officers pleaded guilty Thursday to manslaughter in the shooting death of a 92-year-old woman during a botched drug raid last fall. A third officer still faces charges.

Officer J.R. Smith told a state 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 claims in a warrant.

Former Officer Gregg Junnier, 40, who retired from the Atlanta police 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.

In a hearing later in federal court, both pleaded guilty to a single charge of conspiracy to violate a person's civil rights, resulting in death. Their state and federal sentences would run concurrently.

The charges followed a Nov. 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 said 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 fired only 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 third 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."

Both men could have faced up to life in prison had they been convicted of murder. Instead, Junnier will face 10 years and one month and Smith 12 years and seven months. No sentencing date was immediately set, and the sentences are contingent on the men cooperating with the government.

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.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Yonette Sam-Buchanan said Thursday that although the officers found no drugs in Johnston's home, Smith planted three bags of marijuana in the home as part of a cover story.

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 probe. He also announced policy changes to require the department to drug-test its nearly 1,800 officers and require top supervisors to 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 had never purchased drugs there, leading 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.

Associated Press writer Jason Bronis in Atlanta contributed to this report.



TheResistance
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01 May 2007, 11:13 am

Cops are such HOGS!,that's all I have to say on this matter.



Bridge
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02 May 2007, 7:26 am

what! that's just :!: for once i'm speechless.



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08 May 2007, 3:37 pm

I don't even think marijuna should be illegal in the first place* so...






*or any other drug, currently lawful or otherwise**





**Banning stuff never worked. At least it'd decrease the crime rate. Plus, people that are gonna be stupid enough to kill themselves from something....well, let 'em die and clean up the gene pool.


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08 May 2007, 4:04 pm

She shot first, never shoot first, it might just ve the cops.But damn cops shot up an old shotgun granny. Talk about excessive force!



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08 May 2007, 4:37 pm

Cannabis should have more restrictions, and police should be banned from using innocents in secret operations.


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jimservo
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08 May 2007, 5:21 pm

I heard about this story before. The officers must pay for violating the public trust so seriously.



Bridge
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10 May 2007, 8:11 am

sigholdaccountlost wrote:
I don't even think marijuna should be illegal in the first place* so...



I agree :)



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10 May 2007, 9:41 am

Bridge wrote:
sigholdaccountlost wrote:
I don't even think marijuna should be illegal in the first place* so...



I agree :)


Really? Why?


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10 May 2007, 9:41 am

Anubis wrote:
Cannabis should have more restrictions

Really? Why?


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13 May 2007, 6:43 am

Darn it! Someone cure me of my penchant for killing threads.


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13 May 2007, 3:58 pm

i wonder what they do with all the weed they collect. they probably smoke it


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Murphy328
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15 May 2007, 2:48 am

sigholdaccountlost wrote:
Anubis wrote:
Cannabis should have more restrictions

Really? Why?


Read the book The Emperor Wears No Clothes by Jack Herer, you can find a free text only version of this on his websit jackherer.org.

I haven't found a reasonable person that didn't agree that both the methods used to prohibit marijuana as well as the reasons behind it were morally reprehensible if not outright illegal.

For more info on the ugly side of the drug war check out leap.cc the official website for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

"Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance within itself, for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded."
-Abraham Lincoln (1809-65) U.S. President.
Speech, 18 Dec. 1840, to Illinois House of Representatives

**edited for typo**


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