Family Of Lady Killed In Botched Drug Raid Getting $4.9 Million


Photo: WXIA
Kathryn Johnston, 92, was shot five times by six officers after they busted down her door in a botched drug raid.

‚ÄčThe city of Atlanta will pay $4.9 million to the family of a 92-year-old woman killed in a botched November 2006 drug raid, Mayor Kasim Reed’s office announced on Monday.

Kathryn Johnston, 92, was shot to death by narcotics officers serving a so-called “no-knock” warrant. Investigators later determined the raid was based on falsified paperwork saying that illegal drugs were present in the home. Three former police officers were sentenced to prison terms for the cover-up that resulted, reports CNN.
The Atlanta Police Department’s drug unit underwent a major, though probably largely cosmetic, housecleaning as a result of the incident.
Johnston’s family will receive $2.9 million sometime in fiscal 2011, according to the mayor’s office, with the other $2 million to be paid in fiscal 2012, on or before August 15, 2011.

The payment settles a lawsuit filed against the city by Sarah Dozier, Johnston’s niece, according to Mayor Reed’s office. Filed in state court, the suit was moved to federal court, where a judge ordered the parties to mediation.
Johnston fired at officers with an old pistol, reasonably believing her home was being broken into when officers came charging in without knocking. Six officers returned fire. Johnston’s lone shot went through her front door and harmlessly passed over the officers’ heads.
They responded with a brutal volley of 39 shots, hitting the 92-year-old woman five times.
“The resolution of this case is an important step in the healing process for the city and its residents,” Mayor Reed said. “As a result of the incident, several police officers were indicted in federal and state court on charges and were later convicted and sentenced for their actions.”
“In addition, the narcotics unit of the Atlanta Police Department was completely reorganized, which included changes in policy and personnel,” the Mayor said. Of course, the officers are still in charge of conducting the Drug War.
Last year, former officer Jason Smith was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for his part in the cover-up. Former officers Greg Junnier and Arthur Tesler got six and give years, respectively.
All three former policemen pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiracy to violate civil rights resulting in death.
Smith and Junnier also pleaded guilty to state charges of voluntary manslaughter and making false statements, and scumbag Officer Smith admitted to planting bags of marijuana in Johnston’s home after her death.

“I pray daily for Ms. Johnston,” Smith said of the woman he killed, then framed, at the sentencing hearing, reports WXIA-TV.
“I also pray other officers in Atlanta will have the moral fortitude I didn’t have,” Smith said.
Tesler was convicted on one state count of making false statements after lying on an affidavit that an informant had purchased crack cocaine at Johnston’s home, in a crime-plagued neighborhood near downtown Atlanta.
The informant, however, denied ever having been to Johnston’s home, leading to investigations by federal and state authorities as well as the breakup and reorganization of the Atlanta Police Department’s narcotics unit.
Tesler’s state conviction was reversed on appeal, but he must still serve his federal sentence. Junnier and Smith will serve their state sentences concurrently with their federal sentences, according to their plea agreements.
Under federal sentencing rules, all three men will be required to serve 85 percent of their sentences.
U.S. District Court Judge Julie Carnes ordered the three officers to split Johnston’s funeral costs of $8,180, and to serve three years of supervised release after they complete their prison terms.
Prosecutors said that police officers in Atlanta regularly presented false information to obtain warrants — no big surprise there! — and that they cut corners to make more time for lucrative side jobs providing additional “security” to businesses, often while on duty, and receiving cash payments.
The investigation into the botched raid also led to guilty pleas from the police sergeant in charge of the narcotics unit, and another officer who admitted to extortion, according to authorities.