Monday, April 30, 2007

In the War on Drugs you could be collateral damage.

Power-mad Drug Warriors in Atlanta murdered an elderly grandmother in her home. This blog has covered the killing of Kathyrn Johnston over a period of time beginning with the day of her murder.

Here was a terrified elderly woman living alone. She rarely left her home out of fear for the drug gangs that control her neighborhood. She had a handgun for self-protection.

One day some Atlanta Drug Warrios came to the conclusion that this home had drugs. They manufactured false evidence in order to get permission for a”no knock” raid where they don’t identify themselves a police before battering down the door. And then they attacked. They started samshing down the door of this old woman’s homes. She is, as you would be, terrified by the obvious attack on herself. She draws a conclusion that makes sense to me. She assumed that a criminal gang was attacking her. She was right. They were just a criminal gang with permission from the state to operate.

Kathyrn Johnston, fearful for her life, from unknown assailants fired in self-defense. The police mowed her down in return. And time after time this blog showed how they lied in order to try to cover up the murder of this grandmother. Now the New York Times reports on the case saying that the US attorney says the Altanta police have a “culture of misconduct.” The paper reports:

In court documents, prosecutors said Atlanta police officers regularly lied to obtain search warrants and fabricated documentation of drug purchases, as they had when they raided the home of the woman, Kathryn Johnston, in November, killing her in a hail of bullets. Narcotics officers have admitted to planting marijuana in Ms. Johnston’s home after her death and submitting as evidence cocaine they falsely claimed had been bought at her house, according to the court filings.

Three of the police officers have been indicted for their role in the murder of Johnston. Two of them pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and to a conspiracy to violate the civil rights of their victim. I have to protest. This was not involuntary. The cops knew they were liars. The cops knew they were manufacturing evidence. Whatever plea bargain they may have obtained they are killers and deserve the same treatment as other killers.

Part of the reason there is such a culture of misconduct is because police officers receive special treatment when they violate the laaw. Their fellow officers lie for them, lose evidence or manufacture it as needed, neglect to investigate a case properly, etc. This sort of wink-wink, nudge-nudge attitude tells the police that if they overstep their boundaries they shouldn’t worry as much as normal citizens. It creates a set of special privileges granted to the agents of the State. If anything the laws passed by the State ought to apply to agents of the State even more strictly than to the general public.

US Attorney David Nahmias said that the police officers are corrupt but not in the usual way because they weren’t seeking financial rewards. “Their goal was to arrest drug dealers and seize illegal drugs, and that’s what we want our police officers to do for our community.” So they are not treated as the killers they are because they are part of the Drug War cult. Apparently if you a Drug Warrior even murder can be tolerated to one degree or another.

Mrs. Johnston was not a drug dealer. She is dead. She did not die from drugs. She was killed by the War on Drugs. She did not die because she voluntarily inserted a needle in her arm. She died involuntarily because the Drug War is used to excuse almost any action by the State and its agents. A woman who wanted to live was killed because it is believed a proper function of government to prevent people from acting stupidly.

FA Hayek warned us that for the collectivist (conservative or socialist) that the “greater goal” always justifies horriffic acts “because the pursuit of the common end of society can know no limites in any rights or values of any individual.”

What did these killer cops do. They arrested someone who claimed he bought drugs at Johnston’s home. The police then invented a false story that a police snitch had purchased drugs from the home. They also lied to a judge saying the home had surveillance cameras in order to get a “no knock” warrant.

After they shot this elderly woman they handcuffed her on the floor while searching her home. Apparently they didn’t see something amiss that a woman in her 90s was lying dying on the floor. What did concern them was that there were no drugs in home. So one of the police officers decided to provide some. He planted three bags of marijuana in the old woman’s home to pretend their murder was justified in the name of stopping drugs.

They the officer called a police informant and told him to lie and to claim he was the one who had purchased drugs at this location earlier. And all three officers met several times to concoct a cover-up to justify their earlier lying in order to get a warrant to raid this home.

Let us be honest here. This could happen to anyone. Kathryn Johnston was no drug dealer just a terrified old woman living alone. She had done nothing to warrant the treatment she received either before her death, as she was dying, or after her death. She was another innocent victim in a misguided war on drugs -- a war that does more harm than good.

I don’t dispute that drugs can be a problem for some people. But drugs didn’t kill this grandmother. She wasn’t a junkie, a pot head, a doper, or a cocaine fiend. She hated drugs. She may have even supported the War on Drugs. But Drug Warriors, not dealers, gunned her down.

Now and then drug users die from their habit. At the very least they do so because they took actions which put themselves at risk. Mrs. Johnston did no such thing. She made no choice, or took no action, that should have lead to her death. Her death was not the consequence of her own actions.

Over and over we see this sort of thing happening. Cory Maye was a father sleeping at home in the middle of the night when he heard someone smashing in the door of his home. With an infant baby to protect he took cover and pointed a revolver at the door of his bedroom as heard the criminals making their way to his bedroom. When the door opened he fired in self-defense. He shot and killed a police officer who had broken into the wrong apartment. Maye was sentenced to death for defending his baby from armed men who he did not know were Drug Warriors.

John Adams, 64, was home watching some television when a Drug War SWAT team invaded his home. He was shot to death in the raid. It was the wrong home.

Veronica Bowers was a young mother and a Baptist missionary. She and her seven month old baby were in a light plane when the US government mistakingly identified the plane as belonging to drug dealers. The US gave the Peruvian military the information to shot down the plane. Killed by Drug Warriors.

Rudy Cardenas had five children. One day he was out walking and walked past the wrong house as Drug Warriors were attacking. They wrongly targeted him as a resident. Cardenas fled in terror and the Drug Warriors shot him in the back multiple times.

Annie Rae Dixon was 84 years old and rather ill and in bed. Her home was targeted for a drug raid and when police kicked open her bedroom door they say they accidentally shot her to death.

After two terms in Iraq Marine Sargeant Derek Hale had retired from the military. He drove to Wilmington, Delaware to participate in a Toys for Tots event sponsored by the Pagan Motorcycle Club. Police were watching some members of the club. Derek was at a friends home on the front stairs when the wife of his friend and her children came home. He helped the family into the house and sat back down when an unmarked vehicle with blacked out windows appeared. It was the Drug Warriors.

Five witnesses to the event say that Hale did nothing wrong. As police began their assault on the house Hale stood up wondering what was happening. A taser was used on him causing convulsions and involuntary movement. Hale’s hands, which had been in his pockets, jerked out from the shock. At this point police shot him to death saying they did it in self defense.

A witness to the event said Hale “was just sitting there. He didn’t do anything.” Police tasered him and then ordered him to show them his hands. The electric shock of the Taser renders victims incapable of controlling their muscular functions. It is extremely hard, sometimes impossible, for a victim of a police tasering to be able to comply with such orders. When Hale couldn’t comply they shocked him a second time. Hale fell down the steps and began vomiting. A witness protested loudly saying this was “overkill” and police “told him to ‘shut the fuck up,’ or they’d show him overkill.” The Drug Warriors then Tasered the incapacitated man a third time. It was at this point that they shot him to death.

The Heard family of Osawatomie, Kansas heard a horrific noise in their home. It was flash-gang grenade lobbed in by Drug Warriors. They had no idea who was attacking them or why. Willie Heard grabbed an empty rifle to try and scare his attackers and protect his wife and teenage daughter. He was shot to death by Drug Warriors. It was the wrong house.

Ismael Mena was home one day when police broke in looking for drugs. He was shot to death. It was the wrong house. Mario Paz, 65, was shot in the back by Drug Warriors during a raid. There were no drugs.

When Drug Warriors raided the Sepulveda home they ordered 11 year old Alberto to lie face down on the floor. He obeyed. Two other children were in the room and some police officers were handcuffing them. Police claim a gun discharged accidentally, shooting the boy in the back and killing him. No drugs were found in the house.

Alberta Spruill was an older woman minding her own business when Drug Warriors lobbed a flash grenade into her apartment. The terrified woman suffered a heart attack and died. It was the wrong address.

Kenneth Brown was in a car with some friends when Drug Warriors pulled it over. The men were forced out of the car and made to lie on the ground. One police officer said he couldn’t see Brown’s hand so he shot him in the head. There were no drugs and the Drug Warriors were confused and looking for a different vehicle.

Rev. Accelyne Williams had spent a good deal of his ministry helping people kick the drug habit. His home was targeted in another mistaken raid. After having his home violently invaded he was tackled and thrown to the ground and handcuffed. He died of a heart attack induced by the trauma.

Drugs kill but the people killed by drugs are people killed by their own bad decisions. Drug Warriors kills and it can be anyone, anywhere, at any time. All you need is to be in the wrong place when they go on the rampage. You might even be in your own home with your loved ones when they smash down your door. All it takes is a false accusation, a missing digit on a search warrant, or a confused police officer. Drugs only are a danger to you if you choose to take them. You can avoid them quite easily. Drug Warriors are a danger no matter what you do. And many innocent people have been victims of this brutal force.