Lessons Not Learned Since Tragic Drug Raid in Atlanta

By Bill Piper

Money spent prosecuting and jailing low-level offenders is money not being spent on drug treatment or education.

It’s been almost four years since Atlanta narcotics officers shot and killed 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston and planted evidence in a failed attempt to frame her – and her family is just now receiving justice in the form of a $4.9 million settlement. That of course won’t bring Ms. Johnston back. And despite some cosmetic changes to how drug law enforcement works, very little has changed. City officials will continue to pressure police officers to meet informal arrest quotas, police will continue to violently raid the homes of people suspected of only nonviolent offenses, and taxpayers will continue to foot the bill of a failed drug policy. Real reform is needed.