Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Well, well, well. The plot thickens...

Informant denies buying drugs at elderly Atlantan's home

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- An informant cited in a search warrant as having purchased narcotics at an elderly Atlanta woman's house denies buying drugs there, authorities say.

Undercover officers raiding the 88-year-old woman's house shot her to death last week after she fired on them while they broke down her door in a high-crime neighborhood.

Federal prosecutors will investigate the case, Atlanta police Chief Richard Pennington announced Monday.


"After we brought the informant in and interviewed that informant, he told us that he had no knowledge of going into that house to purchase drugs," he said. "That's what he told us. I don't know if he went in or not. We don't know if he's telling the truth."

In an interview with Atlanta's WAGA-TV, the informant said he had never been to Johnston's house.

"I'm telling them, I never went to the house," the informant told the station. "The police can't say I ever went to the house."

The informant then said police called him and told him "you need to cover our ass.

I'm going to avoid the obvious thing, (which would be to say "Conservative apologists jumped the gun,") and just say that I await the results of this investigation with great interest. I'm not saying that police informants aren't sometimes skeezy, two-faced liars, but I'm also not saying that some police officers won't go to some byzantine lengths to cover a screwup. This cast of characters is full of human beings rather than archetypes, after all...

The apologist crowd is now going to focus on the aforementioned skeezy nature of police informants. "You can't trust them," we'll hear, "they're scum; they'll say anything."

But their word is gold when it comes to kicking in an old woman's door.


Billy Beck said...

"The Plot Sickens"

If that Patterico creep has one moral bone in his body, I'd like someone to tell me where it is. He's just completely disgusting.

By now, I've done my worst to get thrown out of his comments. I gave him my best for as long as I could stand it, but he's a goddamned crumb. That's all there is to it.

Anonymous said...

We need to put an end to the use of SWAT teams in cases like this. There was no reason to break down the door. They could have waited for mornig when she would come out of the house and done everything calmly.

The more we use SWAT, the more innocent people are going to die.

Matt G said...

7 possibilities:

1. The Cops are Lying.
2. The Informant is Lying.
3. The Cops made a Mistake.
4. The Informant made a Mistake.
5. The Cops and the Informant are Lying.
6. The Cops and the Informant made a Mistake.
7. The Cops and the Informant are Lying and made Mistakes.

I guess I could also throw in that it could be mis-reported, but the above is enough to cover it all. Frankly, I give equal odds to all 7.

Crappy, crappy crappiness.

Xrlq said...

Lame, lame and double lame. Urging caution before the facts come out is NOT jumping the gun, and jumping the guy is jumping the gun, even if some of your wild guesses turn out to be correct.

If Patterico had prejudged the case in the cops' favor, that would have been jumping the gun. He didn't, and has come down quite hard on the cops once any actual facts came out.

Mushy said...

Most things I've read have been on the "poor cops" side - not me.

divemedic said...

The point is that the drug war is going the same way prohibition went. We now have crooked cops, crooked judges, shoot outs in the streets, organized crime selling the illicit product.

It only took the country 13 years to realize the truth about prohibition. How long will it take us to realize the war on drugs is wrong and impossible to win? How many people need to die in raids? In turf wars? How many people need to go to jail for their entire productive lives for owning a plant?

How can a person comment on the morality of drug use while sipping double malt scotch and smoking a cigar? Even the poster boy of the conservative movement couldn't resist.

Tom Battiste said...


Interesting idea, the brits beat ya to it. About ten to fifteen years ago they started a program to legalize hereon. If we’ could look at that program’s successes and failure maybe we could come up with a suitable plan.

divemedic said...

How do you measure success though?

Some may claim that if people OD, it is a failure. By that standard, the 21st amendment was a failure.

Drug gangs will lose their main source of income. Will that be considered a success?

How can we compare that to England? There are other differences that would lend any statistical data useless.

Tom Battiste said...

When I said successes and failure I wasn't interested in just statitics, I meant to look at the program completely. crime rates are, as I think you mean only one part of the problem, ergo only one part of a measure of success. One line of thought would be to see if it reduces the voilent crime, which should reduce the need for tactics are were used in ATL.

Anonymous said...

I'm pissed about the use of the phrase "no-knock warrant." Under federal law and the laws of most states, the manner of serving a warrant is left to the discretion of the officers serving it. The judge didn't tell the cops to enter without knocking; the cops did it on their own initiative.

Michael said...

This just in:
Officers May Face Murder Charges In Death Of Woman: Prosecutors intend to seek murder charges against three Atlanta police officers involved in the shooting death of a 92-year-old woman in her home, according to a letter sent to an attorney for one of the officers...Kathryn Johnston died and three officers were wounded in the Nov. 21 shootout when police used a no-knock warrant to search for drugs in Johnston's northwest Atlanta home.