Four years after rogue APD narcotics officers killed 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston during an illegal raid of her home, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has offered her family a $4.9 million settlement…
Johnston was killed in November 2006 when a police drug unit tried to execute a “no-knock” warrant on her home, using information provided by an informant who claimed he had purchased drugs at from the home. After officers kicked in the door, the elderly Johnston reached for a gun and fired one shot. Police returned fire, killing her. No drugs were found, and officers planted drugs in the home that had been recovered from a different raid.
After an extensive local and federal probe, three officers — Arthur Tessler, Gregg Junnier and Jason R. Smith — pleaded guilty and were sentenced to federal prison for conspiring to violate Johnston’s civil rights.
In June 2009, a fourth officer, Wilbert Stallings, a former sergeant, also pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate Johnson’s civil rights and was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison. A fifth officer, Daniel Betts, pleaded guilty to taking payments from businesses in exchange for extra police vigilance and was sentenced to probation.
This past June, two Atlanta police officers involved in the shooting were fired by new police chief George Turner after an internal investigation found they lied and falsified documents; another officer resigned and six more were disciplined.
Were it not for the persistence of Mrs. Johnston’s neighbors and friends, we would likely never have known as much of the truth as has come out.