Drugs Winning the War on Drugs
posted by May 20 at 17:20 PMon
A jury convicted an Atlanta police officer Tuesday of lying to investigators after a botched drug raid in which a 92-year-old woman was killed, but cleared him of two more serious charges.
After deliberating for parts of four days, the jury convicted Arthur Tesler of making false statements. He was acquitted of charges that he violated his oath of a public officer and false imprisonment under color of legal process. Tesler, who is on leave from the police force, faces up to five years in prison.
Plainclothes narcotics officers used a special “no-knock” warrant to raid Kathryn Johnston’s home on Nov. 21, 2006. Police fired 39 bullets, hitting Johnston five or six times, prosecutors said.
An informant had described buying drugs from a dealer there, police said. Since the raid, authorities have said the warrant was based on false information. When the officers burst in without warning, Johnston fired at them, and they fired back, killing her.
Hooray, briefly. The jury decided the cop had been a schmuck and he should do time. Good. But, surprisingly, the offense under consideration wasn’t bursting into an innocent 92-year-old woman’s house and shooting her five times. Which seems pretty offensive. We’re told that these strong-arm tactics are necessary to stamp out drugs. Of course, stopping drug use is impossible, and these raids are a cure worse than the disease. As long as cops are encouraged to break down people’s doors and charge in with guns for routine drug enforcement, homeowners will continue to pull guns and get shot in their hallways. How long until “no knock” raids go on trial?