Eighteen months before Atlanta narcotics officers killed Kathryn Johnston in a bogus drug raid, police investigated six of the same officers for allegedly inappropriate conduct in the search of a southwest Atlanta home, reports the city’s Journal-Constitution. The Office of Professional Standards failed to substantiate charges against the officers after Alphonso Howard claimed they broke down his door without presenting a search warrant, held his wife and three sobbing children at gunpoint and ransacked his home for nearly four hours.
The Atlanta Police Department’s investigation, cursory at best, missed an opportunity to scrutinize the methods of the narcotics team that killed Johnston before they spiraled out of control, a review by the paper found. It also offers a troubling glimpse into procedures that assess officers’ conduct and safeguard the public from rogue cops. The department’s internal affairs unit’s final report summarized Howard’s complaint in one sentence, while devoting 13 pages to officers’ explanations.