Feb 242009

You might remember the story of the Atlanta Police Departments execution of 92 year-old Kathryn Johnston a couple of years ago. Three of the detectives involved in the killing and subsequent cover-up are now in court for sentencing. The account in the Atlanta Journal Constitution refers to the three as “tearful” as they stood before the judge.

As you might imagine, a parade of family, friends, pastors and colleagues took the stand to praise them for being good parents and dedicated public servants. I have to wonder exactly what they were dedicated too. The “dedication to public service started in November of 2006 when officer Jason smith falsified an affidavit to obtain a “no-knock” search warrant.

That allowed the narcotics detectives to bash in Johnston’s door. Thinking her home was being invaded, Johnston fired a single shot from a rusty revolver. The “public servants” responded by firing 39 rounds, with five or six of them being fatal shots.

It seems that at least Det. Gregg Junnier did finally go to the FBI three weeks after the raid and fess up. According to the AJC story, Arthur Bruce Tesler said when moved to the Narcotics unit,

He was told to “sit, watch and learn” from superiors who cut corners to meet performance quotas for arrests and warrants. “I was a new part and plugged into a broken system.”

Tesler later testified he saw Smith planting baggies of marijuana in Johnston’s home to make it look like a drug house, and that he falsified the report and lied about the raid because Smith told him to follow the script.

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