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Drug War Claims 92 Year-Old Victim

by @ 12:32 pm on November 22, 2006. Filed under War On Drugs

Last night, a 92 year-old woman was killed in a shootout with police sent to raid her home in an apparent case of mistaken identity:

ATLANTA — The niece of a 92-year-old woman shot to death by police said her aunt likely had reason to shoot three narcotics investigators as they stormed her house.

Police insisted the officers did everything right before entering the home Tuesday evening, despite suggestions from the woman’s neighbors and relatives that it was a case of mistaken identity.

The woman, Kathryn Johnston, was the only resident in the house at the time and had lived there for about 17 years, Assistant Chief Alan Dreher said. The officers had a legal warrant, “knocked and announced” before they forced open the door and were justified in shooting once fired upon, he said.

Like Brad, I agree that the police, once fired upon, were justified in firing back to protect themselves. The problem is, why were they there in the first place ? This was obviously a case of mistaken identity and the use of force was just a sample of what is brought to bear every day in America’s continued war against (some) recreational drugs.

10 Responses to “Drug War Claims 92 Year-Old Victim”

  1. Sorry. I have to disagree with you, here. The fact that they were wrong about whose home they entered, thus wrong to force entry, meant the woman had every right to defend herself. The only “right” they had was to get shot. Shoting back and killing someone whose home they wrongly (no matter what judicial “cover” they had) entered was wrong on every level, simply compounding a “mistake”

    Ignorance (wilfull or not) is not an excuse for their wrongful behavior in entering her home based on their “mistaken identity” (which five minites’ due diligence would have corrected), just as they would assert ignorance of some obscure law by a common citizen is no excuse for breaking that law. The woman very rightly did not surrender to false authority invading her home for no good reason. The real tragedy here is that she was not a better shot. Bad cops (and here I include incompetent, lazy cops who do not do their sue diligence) are a plague that our society is better off without, a plague that only makes the growing incidence of anarcho-tyranny worse.

    Weep for the republic that law enforcement officers get away with murder-by-incompetence (whether due to stupidity, laziness or wilfull incompomtence sue to sheer malice). In olden days, Dr. Tarr and Mr. Fether would have held a nice hemp necktie party for such faux “law enforcement officers”.

  2. Oh, BTW, the “War on Drugs” is but another case of anarcho-tyranny via the proliferation of laws to make subjects of citizens, while allowing real threats to society to proliferate at will. *sigh* I highly recommend the article linked above as a starting point in clarifying the central problem with law enforcement today.

  3. Eric says:

    David said it very well, I won’t add anything except to say that I hope you will reconsider your position that the police were right to fire on this woman in any situation. Unlike a citizen, a police officer does not have a natural right to self-defense. They’ve agreed, like a soldier, to give up some of that right when they became a police officer. If using their weapons would endanger a citizen, then they are constrained to not use deadly force. Something our police and soldiers used to understand, but our police apparently no longer do.

  4. Eric,

    The more I learn about what actually happened this week in Atlanta, the closer I come to retracting what I said about the police being justified in shooting

  5. Eric says:

    Glad to hear it. These no knock raids are horrific things. Even criminals shouldn’t be shot unless they are directly endangering civilians or, potentially, a police officer. However, in a house raid, where the police have no idea who is in the house, and have protective gear that will stand up to most weapons a criminal will have, I would think that subduing the criminal is a far better idea than shooting to kill. As far as I can see, the drug war and no knock raids are an excuse for them to act like storm trooper thugs.

  6. [...] As controversy continues to swell around the death of an elderly woman in Atlanta during an apparently mistaken drug raid, things may have gotten alot worse for the Atlanta police: Three officers were wounded when they entered Kathryn Johnston’s home looking for cocaine based on tips from an informant, according to the search warrant released Monday by the Fulton County State Court. [...]

  7. kimberly says:

    I think that was a sick act….. How fast can a n 92 year old shoot? How much damage could she do?

  8. Peggy says:

    Yes, this was a terrible accident. However, if someone were shooting at me and I was armed, I would make every attempt to shoot back.

  9. [...] A 92 year old woman shot three narcotics officers after they forced her door and the officers return…. [...]

  10. [...] A 92 year old woman shot three narcotics officers after they forced her door and the officers return…. [...]

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