11.27.2006

War on Drugs Update

Last week, I linked the story about the 92-year-old sharpshooting granny who went down in a blaze of glory defending her home against cops kicking her door down in a no-knock raid. The cops claimed they had bought drugs at the house earlier that day.

Now the police informant says he didn't buy drugs at the house, and the police instructed him to lie.
The confidential informant on whose word Atlanta police raided the house of an 88-year-old woman is now saying he never purchased drugs from her house and was told by police to lie and say he did.

Chief Richard Pennington, in a press conference Monday evening, said his department learned two days ago that the informant — who has been used reliably in the past by the narcotics unit -- denied providing information to officers about a drug deal at 933 Neal Street in northwest Atlanta.

"The informant said he had no knowledge of going into that house and purchasing drugs," Pennington said. "We don't know if he's telling the truth."

The search warrant used by Atlanta police to raid the house says that a confidential informant had bought crack cocaine at the residence, using $50 in city funds, several hours before the raid.

In the document, officers said that the informant told them the house had surveillance cameras that the suspected drug dealer, called "Sam," monitored.

Pennington on Monday evening said the informant told the Internal Affairs Unit hat he did not tell officers that the house had surveillance equipment, and that he was asked to lie.

The Chief still maintained that "Sam," the alleged drug dealer, "actually exists."

The informant may have been lying then. He may be lying now. Either way, some police authorities need to be fired, if not imprisoned. Sending teams of police to kick down the doors of elderly citizens based on the statements of criminals and drug addicts is never a good idea.

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