After 5 Convictions, Atlanta Police Probe Seems Near The End


Two years later, the Kathryn Johnston case is back where it started – with the Atlanta Police Department, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The 2006 killing of the 92-year-old woman by a rogue drug squad in her own home has been solved. Early on, federal investigators echoed suspicions of the community that such corruption was widespread. In closing the investigation, they now say the wrongdoing was more isolated. Atlanta police last week said they were starting a task force to investigate internal wrongdoing.

Questions persist. Narcotics officers told investigators they cut corners, faked search warrants, planted drugs and raided homes because of pressure from superiors to make arrests. There were complaints from other officers that there were performance quotas, a charge higher-ups always denied. There never has been a public explanation about whether allegations about pressure from superiors were accurate, and if so, who was applying it. Also, did any higher-ups know how the drug unit operated? Or why they didn't know? State Sen. Vincent Fort says the full findings of the investigation that were turned over to the Atlanta police need to be made public. “We need to know what is the culture that created this,” Fort said. “Why were these men so comfortable doing this? It's frustrating two years later. We don't know how systematic the problems are. Or aren't.” In all, five officers were convicted of crimes. Three pleaded guilty to federal charges of violating civil rights, and they await sentencing. Their supervisor, Sgt. Wilbert Stallings, pleaded guilty to federal charges concerning another case. Another officer was convicted of extortion charges unconnected to the Johnston case. At least three other officers have been suspended as a result of the federal probe.


Comments are closed.