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The Wright Perspective℠

Social Commentary from the C-Suite to Main Street℠

A Blog by Gary Wright II

Atlanta Police shot 92 year old woman and their Plea Bargain sends wrong message!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Police shoot 92 year old woman and shoot each other during drug raid on November 21, 2006. A captured drug dealer told police he had bought drugs from a dealer and gave them an address. Instead of performing a proper investigation, the police falsified information to obtain what is called a "no knock" warrant.

Upon bursting in the the home of 92 year old Kathryn Johnston, police shot to death the elderly woman, and also ended up shooting each other. The officers said that Johnston fired a .38 at them, but the bullet from her gun was lodged in the roof.

Two of the police officers pleaded guilty to federal and state charges, while the third officer is still facing charges: Gregg Junnier and J.R. Smith pleaded guilty to manslaughter, violation of oath, criminal solicitation, and making false statements. Smith also pleaded guilty to perjury, based on false claims in the search warrant. Arthur Tesler was indicted on charges of violation of oath by a public officer, making false statements, and false imprisonment under the color of legal process. Today in federal court, Junnier and Smith each pleaded guilty to a single charge of conspiracy to violate a person's civil rights, resulting in death.

All three officers are supposed to surrender themselves today at the Fulton County Jail to sign a signature bond. U.S. Attorney David Nahmias said the recommended sentence for Junnier will be ten years and one month in prison, and 12 years, seven months for Smith. The state and federal sentences are expected to run concurrently for both men.

I am not satisfied with the outcome, because they accepted a plea bargain to reduce 15 charges down to 4 lesser charges. Based on the evidence, my opinion is that these guys were guilty of all of the charges. They short circuited the justice system when they obtained the warrant using false information. Then they bypassed the justice system again by not properly investigating the charges and by bursting into a private home. After killing the elderly woman, and shooting each other, they tried to pin everything on the elderly woman.

To be honest, if someone was to barge into my home like that, I would shoot and ask questions later.

Our police officers should be held to a higher standard, and there is no excuse for the behavior of these officers. I am furious that they were allowed to plea bargain, and especially pissed at the fact they are getting to serve their time concurrenty. The officers involved should face the death penalty, or at the least, life in prison.

They gave the police department a black eye that will take a long to heal. Most residents that I talk to don't trust the police, and this just adds more fuel to the fire.

Now I know why Atlanta residents have the saying, "No Justice - Just Us"


Correction: Junier reduced 9 charges down to 4, Smith from 13 down to 5 charges.

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