The FBI Has Now Taken Over The Investigation
An 88 Year old woman was shot to death a few days ago in Atlanta, after narcotics officers raided her home. The original report, (see here) indicated that the elderly resident was 92 years old, however, this information has since been corrected.
Now, in a new twist, the drug informant involved in the case states that he was told to lie by Atlanta Police and say that he bought drugs from the home, as a way to cover up what appears to be a raid on the wrong house. The FBI has now been called in and will take over the investigation into the botched raid and the death of 88 year old Kathryn Johnston.
Also, several discrepancies have emerged. Two major problems between the original reports and the most current reports are:
#1. The original report indicated that the officers knocked and announced their presence before entering the home. Now all of a sudden, Atlanta Police are reviewing their "No Knock" Policy. See Here.
Well, if the officers knocked and announced as was originally claimed, why would there be an effort now to examine the "No Knock" policies? Side note: A No Knock Warrant is a type of Warrant that allows officers to be more discreet when serving a search warrant on a home or business in drug cases... this is to help deprive suspects of the opportunity to destroy evidence (drugs, weapons, names/lists of customers, etc). It is all an effort to maintain the element of surprise.
#2. In the original reports a few days ago, the Atlanta Police Department....in an official statement, stated that "officers" themselves purchased drugs from the home in the days and hours before the raid....and based their warrant application on that information. NOW, the latest reports indicate that police officers may have never made a purchase from the home at all. Atlanta Police were apparently relying solely on information provided from a street informant. Wow!!! And it turns out, THAT whole story may have been bogus, either on the part of the informant, or encouraged by the Narcotics unit in an effort to cover up for their botched raid. Officers understand that if they can at least say that drugs are being dealt from a home, they will probably get better treatment from the Police Department, the Community, and from the Courts.
Generally what happens in these kinds of cases is that the street informant is used to "assist" or get an investigation started so that a case can be made over time. Typically (based on the informants info) Police will send their own officers to make a few undercover purchases. It seems a little strange that Police relied solely or primarily on a statement from an informant (if that story is even true at all in the first place, or simply made up). Usually it takes more than a few days to build a narcotics case to a point of maturity-- when it reaches a level when a raid can be done. This often takes weeks...and sometimes months to do. Perhaps (if they did rely on just a tip) it has something to do with the fact that the neighborhood had a bad drug problem. Often, police departments don't use the same care when operating in poor, drug ridden inner-city areas as they would in more affluent, white, suburban areas. And judges, may be more willing to sign off on raids in troubled neighborhoods, without asking enough questions and without providing strong oversight. They don't want to be seen as hindering police operations...and they typically have an attitude of leaving police work to police. This is why there should be a double or even triple layer for these operations....having a police inspector or commissioner sign off as well as a judge... so that proper oversight could be provided.
By the way, no drugs (or evidence of illegal drug activity) were found in the home.