Meta-Blog

SEARCH QandO

Email:
Jon Henke
Bruce "McQ" McQuain
Dale Franks
Bryan Pick
Billy Hollis
Lance Paddock
MichaelW

BLOGROLL QandO

 
 
Recent Posts
The Ayers Resurrection Tour
Special Friends Get Special Breaks
One Hour
The Hope and Change Express - stalled in the slow lane
Michael Steele New RNC Chairman
Things that make you go "hmmmm"...
Oh yeah, that "rule of law" thing ...
Putting Dollar Signs in Front Of The AGW Hoax
Moving toward a 60 vote majority?
Do As I Say ....
 
 
QandO Newsroom

Newsroom Home Page

US News

US National News
Politics
Business
Science
Technology
Health
Entertainment
Sports
Opinion/Editorial

International News

Top World New
Iraq News
Mideast Conflict

Blogging

Blogpulse Daily Highlights
Daypop Top 40 Links

Regional

Regional News

Publications

News Publications

 
More on the Atlanta Drug Raid
Posted by: McQ on Friday, December 08, 2006

You know, the one in which an 88 year old woman was killed?
It was Fabian Sheats' third felony drug arrest in four months. But on the afternoon of Nov. 21, according to a police report, he was looking to curry favor, so he told officers they could find a kilogram of cocaine in a house at 933 Neal Street N.W.

That encounter led police to the home of Kathryn Johnston, an elderly woman who lived alone behind burglar bars and kept a rusty revolver. When officers burst into the house just three hours after talking to Sheats, a shootout ensued that left the woman dead and three officers wounded. No cocaine was found.
A known felon, busted 3 times in 4 months and attempting to find favor with arresting officers throws out an address.

3 hours later, armed with a no-knock warrant, police invade the home of Kathryn Johnson. 3 hours. How does one do the appropriate police work necessary to verify the story Sheats has given and obtain a warrant?

Lie about it:
Police say they used Sheats' tip to direct a confidential informant to the Neal Street house, where he made a drug buy, leading them to conduct the raid. A man named Alexis White later came forward to say he is a longtime informant and police asked him to lie after the shootings and say he bought drugs at the address. Police will not say who the informant was.
Also released today is a 911 tape in which an anxious White is heard complaining that, "I have two cops chasing me. They're on the dirty side, two undercover officers."
On the 911 tape police released Thursday, White said he was waiting for agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to pick him up on Nov. 22 when he was approached by Atlanta police. He got into the car with them, he told the operator, but jumped out when he talked to federal agents by cellphone and they told him not to get into the squad car.

"They came and picked me up they asked me about that killing yesterday," White told the operator. "But, ah, they tryin' to play it off. So ATF told me 'Don't get in the car with them.' By that time then, I was already in the car with 'em."

The operator sounded incredulous. "OK, so you're calling the police to say the police are chasing you?" she asked.

"Listen to me," the frustrated White responded. "I don't know who's on whose side; they're playing dirty," he said. "There's a lot of stuff going on."
Indeed. And the officers in question are still trying to claim it was a good bust because a small amount of marijuana was found in the Johnson home. My guess. Directly from the pocket of one of the officers to the floor of the home ... a little "back up" in case there really were no drugs on the premises.

This just gets dirtier and dirtier. However the point here remains the complete lack of checks on a process that cost a woman her life.

No-knock warrants should take much, much more than 3 hours and the allegation of a single felon to justify. Yes, I certainly understand that in some cases such a warrant is not only necessary but called for. My guess, however, is those cases are, in reality, few and far between. And they should be granted as a result of good police work which verifies the justification for the warrant.

The bad smell from this particular case is becoming overwhelming.
 
TrackBacks
Return to Main Blog Page
 
 

Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
It’s sounding more and more like the cops sure as heck mis-used the tool of no-knock. And that’s bad. And a judge sure didn’t ask many questions.

But your argument seems to have been to take the tool away as a solution to the problem.

And I just don’t see that as a viable solution.
 
Written By: Ryan
URL: http://
I don’t think anyone here is arguing that the tool be taken away, just put on a high enough shelf to keep the kids away from it without adult supervision.

Of course, this wouldn’t be nearly the problem it is if there was a little more accountability for EVERYONE involved (judges, too)
 
Written By: Paul
URL: http://
damn right we should take the tool away". there is a precedent here: DDT. it was a wonder insecticide; wiped out malarial mosquitos better than anything invented, before or since.

but then a lady wrote a book in which she blamed DDT for killing fishies and birdies. and as a result of that, in the end, DDT - the "tool" - was taken away. to protect those innocent fish and fowl.

if the protection of fish & fowl can mandate/justify the ’taking away’ of a given tool, why can’t the protection of innocent american citizens be used to justify taking away no-knock, military-style, "look! we’re dressed up like bad-dude ninjas!" police raids?
 
Written By: biggus
URL: http://
The bad smell from this particular case is becoming overwhelming.
Is it McQ? What in your post is NEW information? Repeating the allegations neither makes them better or worse, just repeated! I am with you on the idea of increasing scrutiny and consequences for No knocks, but astro-turfing the issue is not registering the ground swell of discontent.
if the protection of fish & fowl can mandate/justify the ’taking away’ of a given tool, why can’t the protection of innocent american citizens be used to justify taking away no-knock, military-style, "look! we’re dressed up like bad-dude ninjas!" police raids?
So Biggus you’re contention is that Bad Science, that had immeasurable bad consequences can justify an equally bad decision in a wholly unrelated area? This is akin to saying, "Hitler over saw the Endlosung and would have been criminally liable. Therefore, Bob is guilty of hit and run."
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
But your argument seems to have been to take the tool away as a solution to the problem.
Yeah, Ryan, that’s why I said:
No-knock warrants should take much, much more than 3 hours and the allegation of a single felon to justify. Yes, I certainly understand that in some cases such a warrant is not only necessary but called for. My guess, however, is those cases are, in reality, few and far between. And they should be granted as a result of good police work which verifies the justification for the warrant.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Is it McQ? What in your post is NEW information?
The "3 hours" between the allegation (from a three-time loser) and the actual raid is new information.
So Biggus you’re contention is that Bad Science, that had immeasurable bad consequences can justify an equally bad decision in a wholly unrelated area?
What was the "Bad Science," Joe? DDT most definitely killed fish and fowl, because of the indiscriminate way in which it was used. Banning DDT was so much a case of "bad science" as it was legislative overkill.

WRT the topic at hand, I’ll go the record as opposing all no-knock warrants. Whatever minuscule benefit can be derived from such warrants is greatly outweighed by the irreparable damage caused by their execution.
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
I’ll go the record as opposing all no-knock warrants. Whatever minuscule benefit can be derived from such warrants is greatly outweighed by the irreparable damage caused by their execution.

Really Usama has a small thermo-nuclear device and his finger is near the button. We must first announce "Police" before entering? After all, you DID say you oppose ALL No Knocks. Blanket statements really carry risks.
The "3 hours" between the allegation (from a three-time loser) and the actual raid is new information.
So is the informant’s name but does it FUNDAMENTALLY change our understanding of the raid?

DDT most definitely killed fish and fowl
,
So does salt or anything else in large amounts, but was DDT ACTUALLY causing those environmental effects? IIRC there is some contraversy if DDT was indeed killing Brown Pelicans and the like. I will admit I could be wholly wrong on this. But I don’t think anyone buys into the "science" of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, the genesis of the Ban DDT Movement.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
So is the informant’s name but does it FUNDAMENTALLY change our understanding of the raid?
That wasn’t what you asked though, was it?

You asked what "new information" the post brought.

That question has been answered.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Gee. Bent Narc cops. I’m astounded.
 
Written By: Uncle Pinky
URL: http://
Well the post could have listed the types and serial numbers of the police weapons and the manufacturers and lot numbers of the ammunition they fired, but it still wouldn’t have changed our understanding of the raid, McQ. More data is NOT more information.

As I say, I do agree with you regards to the need for consequences. It tends to limit the number of No Knocks.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Well the post could have listed the types and serial numbers of the police weapons and the manufacturers and lot numbers of the ammunition they fired, but it still wouldn’t have changed our understanding of the raid, McQ. More data is NOT more information.
Ah, reduced to an attempt to redefine "information" as a come-back, Joe?

Brilliant.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Really Usama has a small thermo-nuclear device and his finger is near the button. We must first announce "Police" before entering? After all, you DID say you oppose ALL No Knocks. Blanket statements really carry risks.
And exactly how is a no-knock raid going to cure this little conundrum? Plus, how do you know (1) that Usama is there, (2) he has what you claim, (3) he can activate it, or (4) any other information regarding your scenario? If you are privy to such information on the basis of a yet-again busted drug dealer who’s now facing hard time for his most recent transgression, it might be worth it to, y’know, verify the info before you go charging in on (a) a dangerous man with his finger on a lethal button, OR (b) a little old lady who just may blow your head off, OR (c) an innocent victim taking care of his daughter late at night.

Also, even for no-knock raids, they still have to yell "Police" when they enter, so I don’t see where you prevent anything by having any such warrant.
So is the informant’s name but does it FUNDAMENTALLY change our understanding of the raid?
Yeah, it FUNDAMENTALLY changes my understanding of the raid, AND it’s new information.


[WRT to the DDT thing, let’s just agree to argue about it later when it’s more OT]
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
"Usama has a small thermo-nuclear device and his finger is near the button. We must first announce "Police" before entering?"
No, fool. In a case like that — if you actually know it to be the case, which must be implicit in your hypothetical — you just input GPS numbers for JDAM and have done with it. Miller time.

Go see if you can get some big bad he-man cop buddies to whack your strawman around for you.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
" she blamed DDT for killing fishies and birdies."

http://www.nrdc.org/health/pesticides/hcarson.asp
From the Natural Resources Defense Council; a surprisingly (to me) fair summary of the book that started it all.

"Silent Spring took Carson four years to complete. It meticulously described how DDT entered the food chain and accumulated in the fatty tissues of animals, including human beings, and caused cancer and genetic damage. A single application on a crop, she wrote, killed insects for weeks and months, and not only the targeted insects but countless more, and remained toxic in the environment even after it was diluted by rainwater. Carson concluded that DDT and other pesticides had irrevocably harmed birds and animals and had contaminated the entire world food supply. The book’s most haunting and famous chapter, "A Fable for Tomorrow," depicted a nameless American town where all life — from fish to birds to apple blossoms to human children — had been "silenced" by the insidious effects of DDT"

A counter;
http://www.junkscience.com/ddtfaq.htm

I have always thought the fuss over DDT was way overdone. I can remember, as a child, running around outside with other kids when the neighborhood was sprayed. And back then when they sprayed, they sprayed. It was like a very thick fog, not like the sissified mists they use now. The smell would stay on your clothes for days. If it accumulates in fatty tissues then I am a walking advertisement for the safety of DDT, as I have a surplus of both fatty tissue and accumulated DDT.


" More data is NOT more information."

Perhaps more data is not useful to reach a verdict in a trial, but for a sentencing hearing more data may be useful.


 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Really Usama has a small thermo-nuclear device and his finger is near the button. We must first announce "Police" before entering? After all, you DID say you oppose ALL No Knocks. Blanket statements really carry risks.
Well Joe, I don’t know - QED the 88 year old granny had time to get her piece out and use it to wound three of the attacking officers...

Sounds like your straw Osama would have time to make his straw finger contact the straw button regardless of the failure to announce themselves.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
ah ah ah, joe! as the first guy to mention hilter, you lose!!. your arguments are declared null & void; everything you’ve said before or since is hereby stricken from the record. your name will be removed from the temple monuments; it shall be as if you never existed. so let it be written, so let it be done.

but hey! thanks for playing! johhny, what do we have for our second-place contestants today?
 
Written By: biggus
URL: http://
Yeah, Ryan, that’s why I said:
Well, let’s look at what you’ve said.
Especially egregious and anti-liberty is the "no knock" warrant which places the value of potential evidence above the value of human life. Now you may wish to argue that point, but in rebuttal I’d ask what the purpose of issuing such a warrant might be, besides limiting the threat to police officers? It is to help ensure evidence is preserved. Has there ever been a "no knock" warrant served without overwhelming force and drawn weapons? Of course not. Then tell me how the potential for someone’s death doesn’t rise exponentially when weapons are drawn and split-second decisions are demanded of those invading (or defending) a house? Given that, what has the priority here - the lives of those involved who are not police officers or preserving the evidence? Go back to the purpose of the raid for the answer.

What is never mentioned in any of this is the complete and total dismissal of and violation of the rights of the person living in the house. Oh they’ve sprinkled some legal mumbo-jumbo over the whole affair, but in all honesty, the homeowner’s rights simply cease to exist in such a scenario. It’s all about the safety of police officers and the preservation of evidence, and frankly that is simply backwards.
Again, this is the type of thing we can regularly expect to happen when no-knock warrants are served. Someone, either the CI or the cops he’s working with, are going to get overzealous, or make a mistake and go the wrong house. A law-abiding citizen will be woken up from a sound sleep in the wee hours of the morning by the sound of men breaking into his home. Being a law-abiding citizen, frightened, sleepy, and disoriented, said citizen will grab a firearm and begin shooting out of fear for his life. The police will promptly kill said citizen.

This is an outrageous abuse of authority, and it simply has to stop. Whatever utility such warrants may have in preventing drug dealers from flushing evidence away, it can’t possibly outweigh the life of an innocent citizen who is killed for no other reason than defending herself when armed men burst into her home unexpectedly in the middle of the night.

That seems to me to be so obvious as to be beyond debate.
Somehow I misunderstood your past remarks. Sorry about that.
 
Written By: Ryan
URL: http://
Well, let’s look at what you’ve said.
Yes, let’s.
Again, this is the type of thing we can regularly expect to happen when no-knock warrants are served. Someone, either the CI or the cops he’s working with, are going to get overzealous, or make a mistake and go the wrong house. A law-abiding citizen will be woken up from a sound sleep in the wee hours of the morning by the sound of men breaking into his home. Being a law-abiding citizen, frightened, sleepy, and disoriented, said citizen will grab a firearm and begin shooting out of fear for his life. The police will promptly kill said citizen.

This is an outrageous abuse of authority, and it simply has to stop. Whatever utility such warrants may have in preventing drug dealers from flushing evidence away, it can’t possibly outweigh the life of an innocent citizen who is killed for no other reason than defending herself when armed men burst into her home unexpectedly in the middle of the night.

That seems to me to be so obvious as to be beyond debate.
Hate to burst your bubble, but I didn’t write that highlighted above. There are three authors on this blog. It’s alway nice to ensure you know which is writing when you cite them.
Somehow I misunderstood your past remarks. Sorry about that.
Indeed you did, apology accepted.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Well Mcq my rsponse is to say, what more did I learn from the article that will shape my opinion on the raid? That an informant SAID or is claimed to have SAID that you could find drugs there? I already knew that. ALl this is is just a means to "keep the issue alive".
No, fool. In a case like that — if you actually know it to be the case, which must be implicit in your hypothetical — you just input GPS numbers for JDAM and have done with it. Miller time.

Go see if you can get some big bad he-man cop buddies to whack your strawman around for you.
What and have Billy Beck EXPLODE about the use of the MILITARY in the US? What about Posse Comitatus? Don’t get to use the JDAM’s in this case.


 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Well Mcq my rsponse is to say, what more did I learn from the article that will shape my opinion on the raid?
Yeah, I know, you keep trying to change the subject, but the fact remains what you asked was:
What in your post is NEW information?


This is a written medium. Your question was taken literally and answered factually. The fact that your question didn’t convey what you "meant" isn’t my problem.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Joe wrote:
ALl this is is just a means to "keep the issue alive".
Even if that was the case, what is wrong with that? This issue should be kept alive; frankly, people should be up in arms over this incident. A perfectly innocent, elderly woman has been murdered by the State, and she is just one of many. Exactly how many innocent people have to be murdered before you would concede that things have gone too far?

I have nothing but contempt left for this police state that has been erected around us. As a "cop’s kid", I was brought up to respect the police, but it should be obvious to anyone that the corruption and militarization brought about by the "War on Drugs" has turned them into little more than jackbooted thugs. They have become the enemy of the people; we are all treated as criminal suspects now.

Both the "No Knock" warrants and the alleged justification for them (the so-called "War on Drugs") need to end - now.
 
Written By: Rob
URL: http://moronika.com

 
Add Your Comment
  NOTICE: While we don't wish to censor your thoughts, we do blacklist certain terms of profanity or obscenity. This is not to muzzle you, but to ensure that the blog remains work-safe for our readers. If you wish to use profanity, simply insert asterisks (*) where the vowels usually go. Your meaning will still be clear, but our readers will be able to view the blog without worrying that content monitoring will get them in trouble when reading it.
Comments for this entry are closed.
Name:
Email:
URL:
HTML Tools:
Bold Italic Blockquote Hyperlink
Comment:
   
 
Vicious Capitalism

Divider

Buy Dale's Book!
Slackernomics by Dale Franks

Divider

Divider