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92 Year Old Woman Killed in the War on Some Drugs
Old 11-23-2006, 09:42 AM   #1
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92 Year Old Woman Killed in the War on Some Drugs

Sad Thanksgiving news. I just don't get the logic of the war on some drugs, but we seem to accept this crap over and over. While I strongly support our police, and have done so with time and money, I think it is more than a little problematic when you have undercover cops breaking into homes with guns drawn, and in the same culture we have bad guys doing the same thing and announcing themselves as cops. Makes it pretty much impossible for a peaceful citizen to draw a distinction. We'll see what the investigation concludes.

http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/myfox/pa...Y&pageId=1.1.1
Quote:
ATLANTA—(FOX5) Three Atlanta police officers were wounded Tuesday night when they exchanged gunfire with a 92-year-old woman. The woman was killed. Police said she shot the officers as they tried to serve a search warrant. Click on video for more information.
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Re: 92 Year Old Woman Killed in the War on Some Drugs
Old 11-23-2006, 10:47 AM   #2
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Re: 92 Year Old Woman Killed in the War on Some Drugs

The old lady knows that she's done no crime, so what she's suppose to think when 3 guys come knocking down her door? There is only one thing to think, She think's it a home invasion, so she takes out her gun (which must have been a 22) and fires away.

Amazing she managed to hit 3 of them before they blow her away. The whole think is really sad.

I don't know all the fact here, but IMHO the police should have held off one they saw it was an old lady.
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Re: 92 Year Old Woman Killed in the War on Some Drugs
Old 11-23-2006, 12:30 PM   #3
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Re: 92 Year Old Woman Killed in the War on Some Drugs

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmpi
I don't know all the fact here, but IMHO the police should have held off one they saw it was an old lady.
Should they have held off after she shot the first police officer, the second, or the third?

I guess that depends on how much ammunition she had.

Luckily we can count on FOX to make sure that the coverage is complete, fair, & balanced.
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Re: 92 Year Old Woman Killed in the War on Some Drugs
Old 11-23-2006, 02:25 PM   #4
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Re: 92 Year Old Woman Killed in the War on Some Drugs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Should they have held off after she shot the first police officer, the second, or the third?
No, they should have held off before they ever burst into the house in the first
place. It is absurd for police to conduct this sort of raid, where a distinct possibility
of some sort of violent outcome exists, in relation to a non-violent crime.

This makes me sick. Too bad she didn't take all three of them out. Maybe that
would make the cops reconsider this sort of BS.




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Re: 92 Year Old Woman Killed in the War on Some Drugs
Old 11-24-2006, 09:11 AM   #5
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Re: 92 Year Old Woman Killed in the War on Some Drugs

I can't remember the name of the case, but the incident that set the standard for torts against government officials for violations of civil rights was a bunch of narcs busting into the wrong house and terrorizing the inhabitants - a docile married couple and their kids. I have often wondered about this when I see the police "home invasions" depicted on TV. What would I do if my door burst open and a bunch of un-uniformed desperadoes (narcs) came storming in? Where I live I would assume them to be whacked out killers, not police.

I am sympathetic to the challenges police face. I sure wouldn't want to bust into some drug gang's building - and I wouldn't want to send them a note telling them I am coming in. But I have to think most of this could be avoided by declaring the war on drugs over. After all, how many of us would be hurt if drugs were legal? Our kids, maybe? But they can get them anyway, can't they?

I guess the homeland security crew would take the place of narcs - I read about a similar incident involving the wrong terrorists lately. But, hopefully, the political police will come in easily identifiable swat uniforms so we would at least know it is the authorities breaking down the door, not criminals.
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Re: 92 Year Old Woman Killed in the War on Some Drugs
Old 11-24-2006, 10:10 AM   #6
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Re: 92 Year Old Woman Killed in the War on Some Drugs

Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff
But I have to think most of this could be avoided by declaring the war on drugs over. After all, how many of us would be hurt if drugs were legal? Our kids, maybe? But they can get them anyway, can't they?
But how do you declare the war on drugs over? Suddenly my young grandchildren can stop by the corner store and pick up some cocaine? I need a prescription to get my generic beta blocker but the kiddies have their meth delivered right at the playlot? Hmmmmmm....... Maybe we eliminate the total ban by imposing regulations? It would be fun watching to see where the money goes!

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Re: 92 Year Old Woman Killed in the War on Some Drugs
Old 11-24-2006, 10:19 AM   #7
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Re: 92 Year Old Woman Killed in the War on Some Drugs

Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff
But I have to think most of this could be avoided by declaring the war on drugs over. After all, how many of us would be hurt if drugs were legal? Our kids, maybe? But they can get them anyway, can't they?
lotsa luck on that one. The annual budgets of many if not most law enforcement agencies are predicated on this insanity (isn't that one definition of insanity--doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome?). Law enforcement agencies nationwide will fight to keep their funding and they need to keep this bogeyman alive to do that.

I always find it interesting that all the "strict constitutionalists" that object to federally funded medical care etc. seem to have no problem with the government funding this kind of stuff. Guess the true test is if it involves guns and uniforms....
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Re: 92 Year Old Woman Killed in the War on Some Drugs
Old 11-24-2006, 10:25 AM   #8
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Re: 92 Year Old Woman Killed in the War on Some Drugs

So bosco, same question to you as to Don......

How do you manifest this end to the war on drugs? Complete open market with any drug available to anyone regardless of age? Regulations? What would be the basics of the regs?

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Re: 92 Year Old Woman Killed in the War on Some Drugs
Old 11-24-2006, 10:45 AM   #9
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Re: 92 Year Old Woman Killed in the War on Some Drugs

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnEyles
No, they should have held off before they ever burst into the house in the first
place. It is absurd for police to conduct this sort of raid, where a distinct possibility
of some sort of violent outcome exists, in relation to a non-violent crime.

This makes me sick. Too bad she didn't take all three of them out. Maybe that
would make the cops reconsider this sort of BS.
We know all of the bad guys are nice and if you just talk to them they really don't want to hurt anyone. PUH-LEESE. The next part of the story has not been posted here so I'll include it after my comments. You are commenting on high risk warrants (ALL drug warrants are high risk). If the officer's go in with anything less than lethal weapons their risk of dying goes up exponentially, all to keep other people safe. It is the real world where theory and ideas normally don't play out. The bad guys are not nice. They don't care about the people who are attempting to make society safe, in fact many will shoot the cops just because. There are reasons officers are allowed and encouraged to carry concealed weapons off duty. It is sad that a litlle old lady was shot and killed, but she drew and first several times.

Here is the second half of the story:
Three Atlanta police officers were shot and wounded and an elderly woman killed at a house in northwest Atlanta Tuesday night.

The woman, identified by relatives as 92-year old Kathryn Johnston, opened fire on the officers from the narcotics division at a house at 933 Neal Street, according to officials.

Atlanta Police Asst. Chief Alan Dreher said at a news conference Wednesday that an undercover officer made a drug purchase at Johnston’s address late Tuesday afternoon from a male suspect. Officers were able to obtain a search warrant after that.

Asst. Chief Dreher said as they were executing the search warrant, the officers announced themselves and then forced open the door. Officials say the warrant was a “No Knock” warrant – meaning that the officers did not knock before forcing open the door, but they did announce themselves.

Dreher said as soon as the officers forced open the door, Johnston shot at the officers and the officers returned fire to protect themselves. One officer was shot 3 times – once in the leg, on the side of the face and once in his bulletproof vest. One officer was hit in the leg and another hit in their arm. All officers are on paid administrative leave pending an investigation – as is common.

Officials say they have not made any arrests in the case and they have not located the male suspect. Dreher said suspected narcotics were recovered from the home but they are awaiting lab results to confirm the items are drugs.

Dreher said a marked patrol vehicle was parked in front of the residence and the word “Police” was written across the front and back of the narcotics team’s vests. He also said only a matter of minutes passed between when officers arrived on the scene and when they forced open the door.

Asst. Chief Dreher referred to the incident as a, “tragic and unfortunate incident.”

The woman's niece, Sarah Dozier, says that she bought her aunt a gun to protect herself and that her aunt had a permit for the gun. Relatives believe Johnston was frightened by the officers and opened fire.

Her relatives say Johnston had lived in the house for about 17 years.

"They kicked her door down talking about drugs, there's no drugs in that house. And they realize now, they've got the wrong house," Dozier said. "I'm mad as hell." Officials say they had the correct house and that the warrant they had was legal.

She says the officers "shot her down like a dog."

Police say the investigation is continuing.
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Re: 92 Year Old Woman Killed in the War on Some Drugs
Old 11-24-2006, 11:04 AM   #10
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Re: 92 Year Old Woman Killed in the War on Some Drugs

I don't like the whole "No Knock" warrant thing.

Didn't the supreme court just change its ruling to allow them? As long as the police yell "POLICE" while kicking down your door it is legal.

What if the old lady was deaf, or hard of hearing? Anyone can buy a vest that says "POLICE" on the front of it.
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Re: 92 Year Old Woman Killed in the War on Some Drugs
Old 11-24-2006, 12:01 PM   #11
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Re: 92 Year Old Woman Killed in the War on Some Drugs

bosco, I don't know if I'd call myself a "strict constitutionalist", but I'm sure close. I don't think government funded health care is or will be successful, and I also think these no-knock warrants and our war on some drugs are idiotic. I think you will find plenty of Americans with similar beliefs and concerns.

youbet, same regulation as alcohol. The straw man argument usually used is the kiddies ... legalizing and even regulating additional drugs (on top of alcohol and nicotine) would still retain the distinction between those who have reached the age of majority, and those who are still treated as children. Pretty straightforward.

I served as foreman on a jury once that found a man guilty of trafficking a small amount of cocaine. I helped put a 65 year old man in prison. I sincerely doubt it made society any better.

Any legalization of recreational drugs in addition to alcohol and nicotine would be problematic ... just less problematic than the sad joke we're witnessing now.

If you ever get the chance, watch an old Bogart movie ... 'Key Largo' (1948) ... http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0040506/. There is a great scene there when the hurricane is very close, and the crime boss asks one of his henchman to talk, and keep the boss' mind off the coming storm. The henchman makes a short speech about how great Prohibition is / was because by making booze illegal, the law unintentionally created a wonderful black market, and great profits.

Sometimes we can't just look at the superficial intent of law ... we have to look at the actual affect on human behavior. They often differ.
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Re: 92 Year Old Woman Killed in the War on Some Drugs
Old 11-24-2006, 12:18 PM   #12
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Re: 92 Year Old Woman Killed in the War on Some Drugs

Quote:
Originally Posted by lets-retire
We know all of the bad guys are nice and if you just talk to them they really don't want to hurt anyone. PUH-LEESE ... You are commenting on high risk warrants (ALL drug warrants are high risk). If the officer's go in with anything less than lethal weapons their risk of dying goes up exponentially, all to keep other people safe. It is the real world where theory and ideas normally don't play out. The bad guys are not nice. They don't care about the people who are attempting to make society safe, in fact many will shoot the cops just because. There are reasons officers are allowed and encouraged to carry concealed weapons off duty. It is sad that a litlle old lady was shot and killed, but she drew and first several times.
The little old lady drew and fired because armed thugs invaded her home. Rather than
saying it's sad she was killed, I say it is criminal.

Where the hell do you get that I'm saying "bad guys are nice" and the cops should
"just talk to them" ? No doubt the narcotics dealer the cops were after is not a nice
guy. But how about maybe staking out the house and arresting him when he comes
out ? I don't know, not my job. What I DO know is that it's stupid and immoral for
police to conduct an armed home invasion to address a non-violent crime. I'm NOT
saying the drug dealers are nice guys. Got that ? They've probably committed violent
crimes; if they do, go after them.

I understand that police have a dangerous job and such raids, and lethal weapons,
are necessary on occasion. But don't bust into someone's house over a drug sale.

The irony of this is that it was probably the ineffectualness of the local police to
actually control VIOLENT crime that led to this poor old woman feeling the need
to barricade herself in her home with a weapon. If the police can't protect people
like this poor women, the least they can do is not harass them or bust into their
homes.

And no, don't try to tell me that I'm naive, that drug dealing IS a violent crime.
It's a crime because we've made it that with the idiotic war on drugs; and crime
tends to lead to violence.




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Re: 92 Year Old Woman Killed in the War on Some Drugs
Old 11-24-2006, 12:50 PM   #13
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Re: 92 Year Old Woman Killed in the War on Some Drugs

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnEyles
The little old lady drew and fired because armed thugs invaded her home. Rather than saying it's sad she was killed, I say it is criminal.
I agree, she jumped the gun (so to speak). How the heck did she know she was shooting at a threatening target?

I wonder if she was licensed to hold that gun (we already know she wasn't proficient in determining when to use it). Heck, I wonder if she was still licensed to drive a car.

She shouldn't have used deadly force for what seemed to be breaking & entering and now her bad reaction has given the entire gun-owning community another reason to fear more assaults on the Second Amendment.

Personally I would've been out the back exit like a scared bunny. I can replace the house's contents, and if my family didn't make it out with me then I'd still be able to do a lot more for them by running to a neighbor's phone without the defiant Horatio-at-the-bridge act.

On this one my sympathies are still with the guys getting shot at. Maybe they're getting yelled at for letting a 92-year-old shoot three of them before they stopped her, but at least they gave her more time to choose her fate than she gave them.

I also agree that anything of the same addictive strength as nicotine & alcohol is ready to be legalized (and heavily taxed). I guess that makes marijuana a legalization candidate, and possibly heroin too. Prescription painkillers? Ecstasy? Cocaine? Crack? Methamphetamines?
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Re: 92 Year Old Woman Killed in the War on Some Drugs
Old 11-24-2006, 01:09 PM   #14
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Re: 92 Year Old Woman Killed in the War on Some Drugs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
How the heck did she know she was shooting at a threatening target?
Because they were breaking into her house ?

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Re: 92 Year Old Woman Killed in the War on Some Drugs
Old 11-24-2006, 01:12 PM   #15
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Re: 92 Year Old Woman Killed in the War on Some Drugs

Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff
I can't remember the name of the case, but the incident that set the standard for torts against government officials for violations of civil rights was a bunch of narcs busting into the wrong house and terrorizing the inhabitants - a docile married couple and their kids.
It's Bivens v. Six Unknown Fed. Narcotics Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), in which the Supreme Court established a basis for constitutional torts against the United States and separate damage suits against Federal agents under certain circumstances.
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Re: 92 Year Old Woman Killed in the War on Some Drugs
Old 11-24-2006, 03:16 PM   #16
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Re: 92 Year Old Woman Killed in the War on Some Drugs

John--By stating it is absurd to conduct high risk raids when the outcome is a possibility of violence, you are essentially saying the cops should not get involved if there is a possibility of violence. Personally, from hard won experience, I'd rather bust into a drug dealers house where they are less likely to shoot an uninvolved bystander than out on the street with little Johnny running around. I have been in the situation to have to decide to kill a dealer or not to kill them. The decision is much harder when there are non-involved people standing around. Bullets sometimes go places they were not intended. The bad guys house, though infinitely more dangerous to the officers, is that much safer for the community.

Let's think about your idea of conducting surveillance. It doesn't work in a neighborhood. If suddenly a new car comes to your neighborhood and sits in front of the house down the street from you you will notice it. Drug dealers are notoriously paranoid. Assuming the article was correct (I know it's a long stretch), this guy wasn't selling a little weed he was selling narcotics. There is a big difference between the two. The debate on weather certain drugs should be illegal or not really isn't important to this situation. The fact is they are illegal, and until they are made legal officers have the responsibility to enforce the law.

You keep stating selling drugs is a non-violent crime. I have to agree with a strict interpretation of that statement. The act of selling drugs is not more violent that selling a can of soda or a piece of candy. Unfortunately the drug dealers are very quick to use violence, do you remember Miami and L.A. in the eighties. The violence was all about drugs. The bottom line is drug dealers are violent and they will use violence quickly. Walking up to them and nicely telling them they are under arrest and to put their hands behind their back will result in many officers being killed in the line of duty. These officers only make around 30-40k per year. That is hardly enough to ask anybody to go kill themselves.

Modified to Add: It has been my experience that most times when someone is dealing drugs out of a house the other people living there know about it. Many times these people are either in denial or accomplices to the crime. Either way they know about it.
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Re: 92 Year Old Woman Killed in the War on Some Drugs
Old 11-24-2006, 03:45 PM   #17
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Re: 92 Year Old Woman Killed in the War on Some Drugs

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Originally Posted by lets-retire

The debate on weather certain drugs should be illegal or not really isn't important to this situation. The fact is they are illegal, and until they are made legal officers have the responsibility to enforce the law...

The bottom line is drug dealers are violent and they will use violence quickly. Walking up to them and nicely telling them they are under arrest and to put their hands behind their back will result in many officers being killed in the line of duty. These officers only make around 30-40k per year. That is hardly enough to ask anybody to go kill themselves.
This is why I mentioned in my post that I was sympathetic to the cops involved. They were just doing their jobs and busting into a drug dealer's house is a pretty dangerous thing. Like I said, I wouldn't want to send a note that I was coming in to some paranoid crack head. That said, the situation exists because we have the dumb war on drugs.

I hope (and suspect) that the TV image of undercover narcs breaking down doors is not accurate. The police should be well identified and should start flashers going and sirens blaring when they break down the door. Otherwise I think a homeowner is acting rationally to start firing when the door comes in. In many neighborhoods that is as likely to be a home invasion as a bust. Better sorry than dead. I would think all of the NRA folks on this board would defend a home owner's right to shoot some crazed Don Johnson storming into their house with guns out.
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Re: 92 Year Old Woman Killed in the War on Some Drugs
Old 11-24-2006, 04:04 PM   #18
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Re: 92 Year Old Woman Killed in the War on Some Drugs

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But how do you declare the war on drugs over? Suddenly my young grandchildren can stop by the corner store and pick up some cocaine? I need a prescription to get my generic beta blocker but the kiddies have their meth delivered right at the playlot? Hmmmmmm....... Maybe we eliminate the total ban by imposing regulations? It would be fun watching to see where the money goes!

bringing "kiddies" into this argument is a red herring and a not-so-subtle change of the subject. If it's kiddies we are worried about, and if your "save the kiddies" argument is sound, when why not start prohibition again and ban cigarettes? Also, guns should be outlawed.

I don't know precisely how the "war" would be ended. But I suspect that a lot of the violence is related to the extremely high profits that are largely the result of the black market aspects.

If drugs were cheap and available, there would still be problems. People would still be able to get them (as they can now). The same kinds of problems as exist with alcohol would still be present. But perhaps the gangs and violence part would be lessened because the money wouldn't be there as much.

How is it handled in the Netherlands and other places where it decriminalized? Does it work better there? I honestly don't know. All I know is that what has been tried here for decades is an abject failure. Surely we can do better.
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Re: 92 Year Old Woman Killed in the War on Some Drugs
Old 11-24-2006, 05:19 PM   #19
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Re: 92 Year Old Woman Killed in the War on Some Drugs


Three Atlanta police officers were shot and wounded and an elderly woman killed at a house in northwest Atlanta Tuesday night.

The woman, identified by relatives as 92-year old Kathryn Johnston, opened fire on the officers from the narcotics division at a house at 933 Neal Street, according to officials.

Atlanta Police Asst. Chief Alan Dreher said at a news conference Wednesday that an undercover officer made a drug purchase at Johnston’s address late Tuesday afternoon from a male suspect. Officers were able to obtain a search warrant after that.

Question: Did the cops buy the drugs inside of the home or outside. They could have bought them from some thug sitting on the old ladies steps. Said thug may not have had anything to do with the old lady. Said thug may not have even lived there.


Asst. Chief Dreher said as they were executing the search warrant, the officers announced themselves and then forced open the door. Officials say the warrant was a “No Knock” warrant – meaning that the officers did not knock before forcing open the door, but they did announce themselves.

Question: How good do you think a 92 year old person can hear?


You think that maybe the old lady thought that the cops were drug dealers breaking into her house?


One officer was shot 3 times – once in the leg, on the side of the face and once in his bulletproof vest. One officer was hit in the leg and another hit in their arm. All officers are on paid administrative leave pending an investigation – as is common.


Officials say they have not made any arrests in the case and they have not located the male suspect.

Question: Why not? The male suspect may not have even lived at that address.




Dreher said suspected narcotics were recovered from the home but they are awaiting lab results to confirm the items are drugs.


Question: When were these "suspected narcotics uncovered?? Before or after the old woman was shot? Were they found inside of the home or on the property?


Dreher said a marked patrol vehicle was parked in front of the residence and the word “Police” was written across the front and back of the narcotics team’s vests. He also said only a matter of minutes passed between when officers arrived on the scene and when they forced open the door.

Asst. Chief Dreher referred to the incident as a, “tragic and unfortunate incident.”

The woman's niece, Sarah Dozier, says that she bought her aunt a gun to protect herself and that her aunt had a permit for the gun. Relatives believe Johnston was frightened by the officers and opened fire.

Her relatives say Johnston had lived in the house for about 17 years.

"They kicked her door down talking about drugs, there's no drugs in that house. And they realize now, they've got the wrong house," Dozier said. "I'm mad as hell." Officials say they had the correct house and that the warrant they had was legal.

She says the officers "shot her down like a dog."

Police say the investigation is continuing.



I think someone screwed up big time. Hopefully the family will get good legal representation before the police covers up what actually happened
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Re: 92 Year Old Woman Killed in the War on Some Drugs
Old 11-24-2006, 05:50 PM   #20
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Re: 92 Year Old Woman Killed in the War on Some Drugs

>>I think someone screwed up big time. Hopefully the family will get good legal representation before the police covers up what actually happened


Without a doubt...it will happen like it always does...police screw up...police investigate themselves...police decide they were 100% in the right and then police decide to give themselves raises and promotions for a job well done.

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