Finally, a case where the crooked cops pay a harsh price and the family gets retribution for their catastrophic loss.
Kathryn Johnston, the 92-year-old woman shot to death in a botched no-knock drug raid, will finally receive full justice posthumously. The court did the right thing and awarded the surviving family $4.9 million to be paid by the city of Atlanta.
Justice advocates hope that this will set a new precedent for other cities and states to follow. It should also serve as a deterrent to officers of the law who circumvent the law and commit heinous crimes while hiding behind their badges. If the police break the law, this case is saying, they could wind up in the very prison with the inmates that they helped put there.
That visual alone should frighten any law enforcement official.
In 2006, Johnston was killed in a hail of police bullets when Atlanta narcotics officers executed a “no-knock” warrant under false pretense. Fradulent paperwork stated that illicit drugs were being sold from the home. Johnston, rightfully defending herself from what she believed was a break-in by criminals, which these police officers actually were, fired her weapon through the door first. That was the last thing she ever did as the small brigade of officers turned the house into a war zone and emptied their clips into the house, killing an innocent woman.
Three former police officers received prison terms for the raid that garnered international headlines and led to the eventual resignation of the police chief and an overhaul of the Atlanta police drug unit.
The successful suit was filed by Johnston’s niece, Sarah C. Dozier. Kathryn Johnson’s estate will receive $3 million immediately and $1.9 million in 2012. –terry shropshire