Saturday, May 05, 2007

Is this the face of a drug dealer?

Frances Thompson (left) was lucky. The 80-year-old widow could have died when Drug Warriors raided her home. Thompson lives in Atlanta, only a few blocks from the home of Kathyrn Johnston, an elderly woman who was killed by these Drug Warriors only two months later. Some of the same police agents were involved in both raids.

Thompson was startled one day to find armed men invading her home. She wasn’t armed but she did have a cap pistol which she grabbed, no doubt to scare away the burglars she expected to encounter. When she realized the armed thugs who had broken into her home were police she put down the toy. The Drug Warriors then searched the apartment for drugs and an alleged drug dealer named Hollywood. Neither existed apparently, at least not at Thompson’s home.

Police had a warrant to attack Thompson’s home. It was easily secured when they told a judge an unnamed “confidental informant” purchased the drugs from a man named Hollywood at the apartment. Similar claims, now proven to be concocted, were made in the Johnston killing. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports: “The narrative is written as a fact, as if the officer witnessed the transaction.”

A neighbor of Thompson’s tried to warn police before they broke down the door that the apartment was not a drug den but occupied by a deeply religious old woman. The neighbor was told to “Mind you own business.”

Thompson was terrified that day and that terror all came back to her when, two months later, she found out about the killing of Kathyrn Johnston under very similar circumstance. “I thought it was awful. Here it was the same thing that happened to me,” she said.

The Drug Warriors of Atlanta have terrorized innocent people and their terror tactics lead to Johnston’s death. After Johnston’s murder two narcotics officers admitted how they concocted the evidence to secure a warrant for the Johnston home. First, they assumed that one man was a drug dealer. They couldn’t find any evidence to verify that so they planted drugs which were then used to bust the man. They pressured him to give them another “dealer’s” address so they could have another drug bust. He, not a confidental informant as police tried to claim later, gave them Johnston’s address.

Of course if he wasn’t a dealer then he wouldn’t know other dealers. If he were afraid not to give up information he might invent it on the spot. And since police had to plant drugs in order to arrest the man their is certainly good reason to doubt he was a dealer at all. The actions of these Drug Warriors has destroyed confidence in the police in the poor neighborhood where these two women lived.

Journalists found that many in the neighborhood are afraid to speak to them and they say the reason is fear of police retaliation. The neighborhood has crime, lots of crime, and the residents don’t know who fear the most: the criminals or the police. Kathyrn Johnston was so afraid of crime she lived behind bars and rarely left her home or allowed anyone inside. But it wasn’t the “criminals” who killed her, it was the police. One resident of the area told reporters: “I think the community would like to cooperate, but people are afraid to call the police. People are afraid of the cops.” He said: “The police need policing.” The Journal-Constitution reports “the police rule by intimidation and are prone to jumping out of their cars, frisking people and moving one.”

Labels: , ,