Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Atlanta Police Drug Raid Kills 90+ Year Old Woman

In a downtown Atlanta neighborhood a 90+ year old grandmother settles down for the night.

But instead of the usual peaceful, if not drafty evening, her night is ripped asunder when her front door disentigrates. Picking up her pistol, likely kept close because a local 72 year old woman had been raped, she aims and hits three intruders before they kill her.

Who were these rude, masked men?

Why Atlanta's finest.

Undercover narcotics officers served a warrant on this little old lady's house this past Tuesday night. Likely, she's no drug lord, or madam even.

These no-knock (was it?) raids, likely the new thing to protect evidence and officers due to the unannounced visit, is putting innocent Americans and police officers in harm's way. This tough, new tool to stop crime seems to be as effective as firing an automatic weapon from the hip. Acting on sketchy information from an informant, the DA and a Judge push for immediate execution of a warrant. A warrant that gives police the permission, if not the order to, assault a home without warning.

At best, it catches some criminals unaware. At worst, innocents die due to bad information from an informant or even a typographical/clerical error. There is always damage to the property and an ever more increased distrust by the citizenry as they hear about these 'botched' raids. The city *might* pay for the damages, the rest?

Unannounced visitors to my shack are likely to meet a similarly violent welcome, regardless of who they are. At least when police announce themselve, innocent homeowners know how to behave. And the police officers caught in the middle know to be on their guard and what to expect.

Dreher, the assistant police chief, said as far as he knew the narcotics officers did "everything by the book. They had a search warrant, they announced themselves and knocked first." He said the incident is still under investigation and "will be for days."

~~~~~~ Update
Heard a noon press conference today. Still way too few details available to really ju8dge what happened. The male that they were looking for wasn't arrested as a result of the raid. Apparently an undercover purchase of drugs was made at the house, presumably not from the 92 year old woman. Wonder if she knew about it. Anyway, she's the one that 'answered' the non-uniformed police who served the warrant. Too bad she's not around to give her side of the story.

Wonder if the person who sold the drugs is a younger family member doing the deed without the knowledge of the elder matriarch.

Going to be interesting to see all the details of the case and where this all goes.

The good news? The three wounded policemen will survive their injuries.

~~~~~~~~~~ watching taped
Taped video from the press conference the search warrant was indeed a no-knock warrant. The DA says that they did knock. Was it with the battering ram or was it a knock and "please open up ma'am?"

The assaulted residence had a burglar door on the outside and a standard front door inside of that. The police forced open the burglar door - likely took some time - and then opened the second door. Bet it was quite a commotion. No wonder grandma got her gun.

The old woman hit the police officers five times when she fired on her suspected assailants. They were likely bottled up in the doorway and made easy targets.

What I envision happened, is that police showed up to her door, and simultaneously announced and knocked, then began tearing their way through the burglar door and the normal exterior front door. I don't doubt that a 92 year old woman would have difficulty in hearing the police trying to announce themselves. Given the ruckus caused by the police breaking into the house, I bet she felt she was under attack and chose to defend herself.

I really don't like how this went down. Real glad that three police officers will live. We're on closer terms to the police than most Americans, but I don't think their show of force was necessary in this case. May have been 'warranted', but unnecessary I think.