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ufojoe

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: April 29, 2007, 11:31:33 PM

...Smith planted three bags of marijuana in the home as part of a cover story officers concocted.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070427/ap_on_re_us/elderly_shooting

2 plead guilty in Ga. drug raid death

By HARRY R. WEBER, Associated Press Writer Thu Apr 26, 8:18 PM ET

ATLANTA - Two police officers pleaded guilty Thursday to manslaughter and other charges in the shooting death of a 92-year-old woman during a botched drug raid at her home last fall.

Officer J.R. Smith, who also agreed to resign from the police department, told a state judge 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 no-knock warrant obtained to enter Kathryn Johnston's home on Nov. 21.

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 under the plea deal. 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, and both men agreed to help investigators with their probe into the activities of Atlanta narcotics officers.

The charges followed a Nov. 21 "no-knock" drug raid on Johnston's home. 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.

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

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 officers concocted.


A third officer, Arthur Tesler, who is 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 Smith and Junnier could have faced up to life in prison had they been convicted of murder. The murder charge was reduced to manslaughter as part of their pleas, and prosecutors agreed not to pursue the burglary and assault charges. Now, Junnier will face 10 years and one month and Smith 12 years and seven months. No sentencing date was immediately set.

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.

Pennington said Thursday that the entire episode "has been a very painful five months for the police department."

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.
___

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

cyberdude557

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#1 : April 30, 2007, 02:44:54 AM

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.

What a joke...
You mean cops arn't drug-tested now?

Lynch47

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#2 : April 30, 2007, 06:32:22 AM

All NYC cops are drug tested on a random basis.

Runole

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#3 : April 30, 2007, 12:02:37 PM

The "creation of crime" is undoubtedly the biggest deterrent to drug use in the US???

Lynch47

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#4 : April 30, 2007, 02:16:17 PM

The "creation of crime" is undoubtedly the biggest deterrent to drug use in the US???
So I guess most drug crimes are "plants" by police officers? Youre kidding right?

ufojoe

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#5 : April 30, 2007, 03:39:04 PM

He didn't say that. I could be wrong but what I think he is saying is that those cops
wouldn't even be in that position if it wasn't for the entire war on drugs debacle.
No knock warrant because some guy was allegedly dealing drugs? Lots of bad
can come from that. And it did.

Lynch47

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#6 : May 01, 2007, 08:18:28 AM

Lots of bad comes from guys  dealing drugs. Ask Eddie Byrnes family. He was a 22 year old NYC police officer who was shot in the head while sitting in a Patrol car outside a witness' house by a drug dealer

Runole

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#7 : May 01, 2007, 08:48:51 AM

Lots of bad comes from guys  dealing drugs. Ask Eddie Byrnes family. He was a 22 year old NYC police officer who was shot in the head while sitting in a Patrol car outside a witness' house by a drug dealer


Now just imagine if all drugs were taxed and regulated and actually available on demand for free at your local health department with of course a mandatory  drug education session.  All users are registered which certainly would aid health officials with dealing with potential problems.  Keep stiff penalties in place for sales to minors.    The profit would all go out of the drug business.  How many sell liquor and cigarrettes illegally?  How profitable is that enterprise???

Most importantly Eddie Byrnes would be more than likely be alive today.   People sell drugs because of the incredible untaxed and unregulated profits.  People do drugs because they like the way it makes them feel.


Scientifically Cigarettes and Alcohol are far more deadly as well as badly administered pharmaceuticals.   Illicits are not even close!!  TIme for an end to these horrible arbitrary drug laws.   It has cost Billions and billions of dollars, 1000's of innocent deaths, rampant increases in Crime ,gangs, and violence. Has increased prison populations so drastically that many who should never be released are sent back into the population.   When does America wake up and realize this abysmal failure??

MrFreakinMiyagi

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#8 : May 01, 2007, 08:51:13 AM

Granny had it comin'

Dolorus Jason on a ban bet with me over the BCS Championship: \"You have your bet. I ain\'t scurred.\"- 12/8 \"Youre being banned from your own stupidity. Enjoy.\"-12/8 \"Prepare for your ban .\" -12/9 \"Miyagi gonna be banned.\"-12/9 \"Best bet I ever made ...\"-12/9 \"Miyagi mad , gettin banned.\"-12/9\"You mIght need a break from the board. Our bet should help you do just that.\"-12/10 11:38 AM
 \"The bet is off now.\"12/10 1:24 PM

ufojoe

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#9 : May 01, 2007, 12:27:40 PM

How the hell did she have her gun ready to shoot so fast when it was a no knock warrant?
Must be a tough neighborhood.

Runole, your post says it all. Lynch keeps pointing to people getting killed in drug related
violence. And he keeps ignoring our point that said violence wouldn't be there if not for
our draconian, pathetic, failing, war on drugs. Just say no, right?

Legalize... and save lives...

ufojoe

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#10 : May 01, 2007, 12:31:08 PM

http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/legal/article623415.ece

Short Excerpt:

Heroin: The solution?

The liberalisation of drug laws in Zurich has led to a massive fall in the number of new heroin users, according to a study published yesterday. Now Britain, which has the highest number of drug deaths in Europe, is being urged to follow suit

By Jeremy Laurance, Health Editor
Published: 02 June 2006

Drugs charities called yesterday for Britain to abandon its tough approach to heroin use after research showed one European city had cut the number of new addicts by transforming the image of heroin into a "loser drug".

The UK should follow the example of Zurich, which adopted a liberal drug policy a decade ago, and has seen an 82 per cent decline in new users of heroin, experts say.

Runole

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#11 : May 01, 2007, 01:07:31 PM

It is most unfortunate Joe that we indeed live in a Nation of sheep that continues to be blind to the proper course of action with our Current Drug War.   Interestingly many top officials in law enforcement and the criminal justice system feel the same way.  It is been far too long..  35+ years is a long enough time to realize an abysmal failed policy needs to end!

At least during prohibition that had far more intelligence to end that farce sooner.  The continued dumbing of America!!
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