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05/01/2007 Archived Entry: "The real story behind the Kathryn Johnston murder finally comes out"

THE REAL STORY BEHIND THE KATHRYN JOHNSTON MURDER has finally come out. And it's worse than even the most cynical of us imagined.

Too bad that the officers plea-bargained and won't face life in prison. Too bad it wasn't Johnston's gunfire that wounded them. The only bright spot in the whole sordid fiasco (perhaps even in the whole drug war) was the belief -- wrong, it seems -- that an abused citizen had been able to fight back in the seconds before her government killed her.

As usual, Radley Balko found the right words to say about it:

While an innocent, elderly woman lay bleeding, handcuffed, and dying on the floor of her own home due to their malfeasance, these animals went about planting drugs to implicate her, and concocting a story to save their own hides. Every case these officers ever worked on needs to be reopened. And that's just getting started. A police department that could produce these three dirty cops, and allow them to operate, is a department that has almost certainly produced many more. It would be awfully coincidental if the only three bad drug cops at APD all happened to be working together this particular night, and happened to get caught on this particular raid.

Johnston's murder should also be a wake-up call for those who instinctively believe initial police accounts of what happened during one of these raids. I suspect that if Kathryn Johnston had been a 22-year old innocent man instead of an 88 (or 92, depending on who's reporting)-year old innocent woman, we may still not know exactly what happened in that house.

Posted by Claire @ 11:49 AM CST

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