Skip to comments.Chief vows to review shooting
Posted on 11/28/2006 5:31:14 AM PST by from occupied ga
Five days after an elderly woman was killed in a gun battle that left three officers wounded, Atlanta police chief Richard Pennington said Sunday night his department will review its policy on "no knock" warrants and its use of confidential informants.
Speaking for the first time since the Tuesday night shooting death of Kathryn Johnston at her home in northwest Atlanta, Pennington said his office "will turn over every stone to make sure we get to the reason why this tragic incident happened."
Atlanta police Chief Richard Pennington says the policy on 'no knock' warrants will be reviewed.
Pennington provided little new information on what led to the confrontation at 933 Neal St. when narcotics officers seeking to serve a warrant broke down the front door and exchanged gunfire with Johnston.
Earlier that day, a man named "Sam" had sold drugs from inside the house to an informant, police said, prompting officers to seek a "no-knock" warrant. Such warrants are frequently issued so police can get inside a home before suspects can destroy or flush drugs.
Johnston described by neighbors and family as a frightened woman who had burglar bars on her windows and door and rarely let friends and neighbors into her home had lived at the one-story brick home near the Georgia Dome for 17 years.
The police chief said officers found marijuana inside the house but "not a large quantity." Previously, police only said drugs were seized at Johnston's home.
Pennington was out of town last week for the Thanksgiving holiday and said he was unable to get a flight back to Atlanta earlier. He said he had not talked to the officers involved in the shooting, but he had been briefed by his commanders.
The chief said he did not know the contents of the sworn statement that police provided to a judge to obtain the warrant. "I will have it [Monday]," he said.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, at the request of the Fulton County District Attorney's Office, is looking into the incident, including examining the home to determine how many gunshots were fired in the confrontation. GBI spokesman John Bankhead said it will take several more weeks before results are available.
Pennington spoke with reporters at Lindsay Street Baptist Church after a meeting with civil rights activist the Rev. Markell Hutchins.
Hutchins leaves for Washington this morning to deliver a letter to the U.S. Justice Department calling for a federal investigation into "what we believe are at worst, gross violations of this woman's life, and at best, poor judgment on the part of the police officers."
Pennington said he welcomes any investigation into the shooting.
Sunday night, Hutchins said he was satisfied with what Pennington shared, citing a law enforcement agency's "right to protect the integrity of its investigation."
"I did not ask him any confidential questions that I should not be privy to," he said. "I appreciated that he came down to reassure us that he will do everything that needs to be done to look into this."
Johnston's family could not be reached for comment. Hutchins, who is acting as their spokesman, said he had not had a chance to speak with them after he met with Pennington.
Also Sunday, the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office corrected reports on Johnston's age. The family had said that Johnston was 92, but the medical examiner's office said records show she was 88.
Police described their suspect as a 6-foot-tall man weighing 250 to 260 pounds. Johnston's niece, Sarah Dozier, has said her aunt lived alone.
The officers were not wearing uniforms but had on bulletproof vests with "Police" emblazoned across the front and back. And they identified themselves as they burst through the doors, police said.
Johnston grabbed a rusty six-shot revolver and emptied it. Five shots struck the officers, hitting one of them three times. The other two were each hit once. The officers returned fire, shooting Johnston twice in the chest and elsewhere, police have said.
The three officers were released from the hospital the next day. They are on leave with pay.
Funeral plans for Johnston have not been made.
Staff writer Jeffry Scott contributed to this article.
Speaking for the first time since the
shooting death murder of...
The police chief said officers found marijuana inside the house but "not a large quantity."
The police chief said officers
found planted marijuana inside the house but "not a large quantity."
turn over every stone to make sure we get to the reason why this tragic incident happened
Translated: We will give lip service, but you can rest assured that no police officer will be punished for murdering the old lady.
citing a law enforcement agency's "right to protect the integrity of its investigation."
law enforcements' right to covering up and lie about anything that they do wrong.
The officers were not wearing uniforms ...And they identified themselves as they burst through the doors,
Just like all other home invaders have taken to doing.
Johnston grabbed a rusty six-shot revolver and emptied it.
The real tragedy was that the old lady didn't have armor piercing ammo.
Anyone thinks that the officers involved in this home invasion and murder will be charged with anything? Not a chance. The will undoubtedly be found to "have followed departmental guidelines" The rest of us have to follow laws, but the JBTs don't have to worry about that. What a great career if you like killing people with very little risk to yourself.
Who cares what you think about cops? not me. I'm going on the facts, and the facts here are that they stormed the house of an 88 year old lady in best SS style and shot her to death when she tried to defend herself.
Attack the messenger if you don't like the message. I don't give a rat's ass how "nice" you think they are. Yep they were real brave in taking down an old lady and if you don't like my saying so, tough sh!t.
States need to pass laws to restrict police practice on using "no-knock" assaults to only life-threatening situations (hostage, attempted murder/assault in progress, etc.). That said, JBT pretty much describes what happened here.
I didn't attack the messenger. I attacked your message. Read my post again.
Look, the "facts" are about a tragedy. No one likes the outcome.
There's just no need to berate the beat cops on this one. You have to remember she fired first and emptied her revolver at the cops, hitting her targets five times. EVERYONE lost on this one. Look at what put them there in the first place. What happened that 'caused' this. THERE'S the problem.
BTW - the tactics are more like the Gestapo than the SS.
REM: I'm not coming after you-- just what you wrote.
These weren't beat cops.
Send 'em to Colorado and I'll call 'em jack-booted thugs to their face. That's what they are. They're militarized and it's getting worse. occupiedGA's comments are spot on.
The post is typical of that anarchist. Who but a nut would believe one of the most conservative states in the country is "occupied"?
The tragedy would be if the old lady were killed by a tree falling on her house or in some other accident. This was not some random unpredictable accident. It was a deliberate assault by police on a citizen using, at best, questionable tactics. The people at fault are: primarily the officers themselves ("just following orders" was not an acceptable excuse in Nuremburg) their superiors, and the jackasses who endorse this no knock warrant policy. Anyone who kicks my door down shouting police had better be prepared for some novelties. This tactic is gaining popularity with home invasion criminals not associated with local governments.
I didn't attack the messenger.
Oh your comment about calling them JBTs to their faces wasn't an attack I suppose. Well OK
No one likes the outcome.
but going on the history of this sort of thing, there won't be any negative consequences to the JBT's (I believe that the Gestapo knocked first) for them to be unhappy with. They are on PAID leave at the moment, and like I said earlier if this isn't whitewashed it will be the first i\time in recent history in the USA that it wasn't.
Ahh the jackboot licking contingent heard from. I have always wondered why you post here at all and don't spend all of your time on DU.
Whatever dude. You have your perspective, I have mine. I happen to disagree strongly with what you wrote and told you so.
And no, I did not attack you, so get over it. I don't do that in FR.
BTW, Cops in GA always go on PAID admin leave after a shooting.
Now the cops are saying that they never bought any drugs from anyone in the house, but that a "informant" told them that. This is not the story that is now coming out. The so-called informant is claiming that the cops told him to lie about it, and that he was never in that house.
BTW, where I agree with you is that the home invasion thugs are indeed impersonating cops. THAT is a real risk.
I'll stick with the word tragedy here -- the tragedy is that both parties 'did the right thing.' The lady defended her property, and the police returned fire.
It just all sucks.
I just wish you wouldn't brand the cops with a "JBT" label.
Bump. JBTs on paid vacation for murdering a "civilian". Wonder if they'll get medals too?
The whole thing stinks - we know the police are lying about one thing, because they've already changed their story once. Who knows what the truth is, but One thing is sure, an 88 year old lady is dead because of the SS tactics of the Atlanta police department.
Nope that's just for federal LEOs like Lon Hourouchi and Chris Braga.
Just these guys. - not intended to apply to all.
Then he could see jack-booted thugs in action? Is that what you're saying? Sounds like it. They're not jack-booted thugs until they are?
What "put them there in the first place" is what everyone wants to know, but it appears NOT to be competent police work. The police are guilty of incompetence and murder.
Gestapo tactics - The Waffen SS would have leveled the building and killed everybody in it...
Something to look forward to. Although the only thing missing is leveling the building since the old lady was the sole occupant.
The cops did NOT buy drugs in her home. They claimed a confidential informant did the buying. Keep your ears peeled to the news as you may find out the informant denies he bought drugs at that address, or that he was ever there...
Why would anyone leave and miss the high comedy you provide?
Ok, hang on. The guys had a legal search warrant. (we can absolutely wonder if that warrant was valid, but THAT is a court issue too) She opened fire, the officers returned fire. That is not murder. (wronglful death? perhaps, but NOT murder)
I don't think ANYONE thinks this started well or turned out well. Let's just not call the cops murderers, OK?
That is their current story, but they first claimed that an undercover officer bought drugs there. They also claimed that they found narcotics, but then later changed this to a "small quantity of marjuana" Two lies by the police so far.
Although I have a decent array of firearms, my "personal protection" weapon, kept loaded and hidden, but only a few steps away, is an Astra 960 .38 revolver. You armchair cowboys with your bragging about your 1911's, Glocks and "big hole" guns can have them. This old lady made *5 hits* faster than you guys could clear a smokestack from one of your tempermental auto-queens.
Johnston grabbed a rusty six-shot revolver and emptied it. Five shots struck the officers
Although I have a decent array of firearms, my "personal protection" weapon, kept loaded and hidden, but only a few steps away, is an Astra 960 .38 revolver.
You armchair cowboys with your bragging about your 1911's, Glocks and "big hole" guns can have them. This old lady made *5 hits* faster than you guys could clear a smokestack from one of your tempermental auto-queens.
Two things. I'm impressed that you understood my posts - most people with your condition have a severe lack of ability to comprehend much of anything, and second, your documented slavish love of government is what provides the comic relief on a nominally conservative site.
Is it true that you're the president of the Lon Hourouchi fan club?
As I said, police informants are soooooo reliable. They would never lie for their payoff or to save they sorry criminal rear ends from being busted...
Of course they would never lie to save their sorry butts from the public or to get their 15 minutes from the media, either.
What brought the law enforcement officers to the eldery woman's door in the first place? I am still placing money that some of the distraught relatives of this woman were selling drugs out of her house. Again, a case of elder abuse that will be swept under the rug as the whole focus will be on how awful the officers were.
Legalized murder is still murder. The cops broke into this woman's home with the intent to kill anyone who threatened them. There are other methods that can be used to apprehend drug dealers.
The 4th amendment was written to provide protection from EXACTLY this kind of police abuse. A warrant rubber stamped by a judge who doesn't take the time to make the sure the police have done their homework is worthless and, in my opinion, is not a legal warrant that the "beat cops" should act on. The beat cops should say no, this isn't right.
I think you're probably on target. But that isn't going to satisfy most of the folks on this thread; and relying on an informant was a mistake, too.
I agree that counting on just one person's information should only happen in a true life and death situation. There should have been some more coordination of information about the house. But then again, we don't know how long and how many times this house has been observed doing drug deals. If it goes to a trial at least we can get some of our questions answered.
No one will really know what 'put them there' in the first place. Their "confidential informant" has alread admitted that he NEVER bought drugs there and that HE WAS TOLD BY THE POLICE to say THAT HE HAD. How much plainer does this story have to be for you to see that something is definitely wrong with the APD. I live in Georgia too and they are a joke, period.
I think we will not know exactly how the raid was planned and executed
for several months. ever. It will be part of an "ongoing investigation" shuffled around and evidence lost, etc.
I am unimpressed at your being impressed.
"Is it true that you're the president of the Lon Hourouchi fan club?" Yes I have given him your home address, grab that baby.
No, he has not ADMITTED that. He is now CLAIMING the police told him to lie.
Let's stick to facts. (... and I agree the APD is MESSED UP)
BTW, said informant is now in protective custody. hmmmm.
I agree this does not smell right at all; the APD is messed up; this went all wrong; we'll never get to the "truth"; no one actually responsible will be punished.
REM: my only issue here is about calling the cops JBT and murderers. I can't go with that.
When I heard it on WSB AM 750 in Atlanta this morning I heard, admitted. My ears might be fooling me but that's what I remember.
"BTW, where I agree with you is that the home invasion thugs are indeed impersonating cops. THAT is a real risk. "
This home invation - fake cops thing is happening a lot here (Alaska) - very scary stuff.