22 Nov 2006

Atlanta Police Kill 92 Year Old Woman in Drug Raid

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Another atrocity produced by our absurd drug laws. It sounds like the lady died bravely defending her home.

Houston Chronicle:

ATLANTA — Police who shot and killed a 92-year-old woman after she wounded three officers were looking for a man who sold drugs to undercover agents at her home earlier that day, authorities said Wednesday.

The agents got a search warrant after buying drugs Tuesday afternoon from a man in Kathryn Johnston’s home, Assistant Police Chief Alan Dreher said.

Johnston’s niece, Sarah Dozier, said her aunt likely had reason to shoot the three plainclothes investigators as they stormed her house.

“My aunt was in good health. I’m sure she panicked when they kicked that door down,” Dozier told WAGA-TV, adding that there were no drugs in the house. “There was no reason they had to go in there and shoot her down like a dog.”

Police insisted the officers did everything right before entering the home, despite suggestions from the woman’s neighbors and relatives that it was a case of mistaken identity.

Johnston was the only resident in the house at the time and had lived there for about 17 years, Dreher said. The officers “knocked and announced” before they forced open the door and were justified in shooting once fired upon, he said.

Rev. Markel Hutchins, a civil rights activist and spokesman for the family, said he could understand why Johnston would have a gun because she lived in a high-crime area. “She was afraid,” Hutchins said. “This is a horrifying situation in a neighborhood where crime happens often. This incident is a result of a mix-up.”

As the officers approached the house around 7 p.m., a woman inside started shooting, striking each of them, said Officer Joe Cobb, a police spokesman.

One was hit in the arm, another in a the leg and the third in the leg, face and chest, with the chest shot striking a bullet-resistant vest. The officers were taken to a hospital for treatment, and all three were expected to recover, police said.

Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said his office is conducting its own independent investigation into the shooting, but said a preliminary review shows the officers had a legal right to search the home.

Hutchins said he would try to meet with Police Chief Richard Pennington and would meet with lawyers.

7 Feedbacks on "Atlanta Police Kill 92 Year Old Woman in Drug Raid"

Dominique R. Poirier

I agree. That’s a sad story and a horrible mistake. I hope my sincerity about it will not be questioned if, beyond sadness, I express my surprise while learning that a 92 years old lady has been able to successfully hit no less than three police officers!
I miss the Houston Chronicle’s reporter didn’t elaborate about the gun the tough lady did use. Just for the sake of mere curiosity, I would be curious to know which one it was.

Never Yet Melted » Anent that 92 Year Old Lady

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J. Jacskson

I would like to know what happen to the gun the lady used. Also it is very hard to believe a 92 yr old lady could even see well eoungh to even get a good aim let alone actually shoot three of them. I hope the family do some investgating of their own.

Hubert Smutts

The officers had a duty to be sure they were in the right place and protect anyone that was not part of their investigation. They failed to do that. I am sorry that she didn’t have a shot gun and blow all of their heads off as she was a woman alone at night in her own home and they violated here right to be safe there. Three men come to my house with police uniforms on breaking the door down, they will die if I can get to a gun. Dead men tell no tales.

Mary Neal



This concerns my brother, Larry Morris Neal. He was a mentally ill heart patient who was secretly arrested in mid July 2003 and detained until his death on August 1, 2003, in Shelby County Jail in Memphis, Tennessee. Larry spent most of his life from early childhood (age 9 through his mid-20’s) in Western State Mental Hospital in Bolivar, Tennessee. As you may know, during the 70’s, many such institutions were closed or no longer kept mental patients who presented no apparent threat to the public. After release from Western State, Larry was arrested numerous times for misdemeanors connected with his handicap, paranoid schizophrenia. The last ten years of his life, Larry suffered from severe respiratory problems and a heart condition that necessitated prescription drugs for his survival. During the 18 days of Larry’s final incarceration, his family and State-appointed social worker searched for him as a missing person. The jail falsely and repeatedly reported that neither Larry Neal nor a John Doe meeting his physical description was incarcerated in that facility. It is therefore reasonable to assume that Larry received none of his vital prescription heart and psychiatric drugs during incarceration, which likely caused his death. Larry supposedly was unidentified until he died, despite the fact that (i) he had suffered many contemporaneous arrests in that very same facility for misdemeanors related to his mental illness, with the last arrest only two weeks prior to the incarceration that killed him; (ii) Memphis police had supplied emergency transport to mental hospitals for emergency treatment during Larry’s psychotic episodes for more than 25 years; and (iii) Memphis police were fully aware of Larry Neal’s heart condition and had contact information for his social worker, who was usually called when Larry was arrested on public nuisance charges, panhandling, and the like. At the time of Larry’s death, Shelby County Jail was under federal overview by the U. S. Justice Department following suit by the U.S.A., filed under the Americans with Disabilities Act. One would think that overview by the United States Department of Justice would ensure openness and honesty from everyone connected with Larry’s death. Contrarily, for nearly four years, all requests by Larry’s family to government entities, including the Justice Department, for reports, explanations, and accountability regarding my brother’s euthanasia have been ignored, or we were told no reports exist.

Fraud / Undisclosed Conflict of Interest / Deliberate Malpractice
This law firm contracted with the Neals (August 2003) to file a wrongful death action against Shelby County, TN Jail and negligence suits against the State of Tennessee and Larry’s final care home. THE COCHRAN FIRM did not reveal to its clients the fact that the firm’s Managing Partner of the Memphis office, Julian Bolton, Esq., was a 20+year member of the Shelby County Commission, which is the entity that owns and operates the jail where Larry died. THE COCHRAN FIRM used its position as our attorneys to shield Shelby County Jail from our lawsuit by accepting our case and ALLOWING IT TO LANGUISH ON ITS SHELVES WHILE THE STATUTE RAN FOR 10.5 MONTHS, UNTIL IT WAS TOO LATE FOR THE NEALS TO GET AN HONEST ATTORNEY with no clandestine ties to their defendant. (The Statute of Limitations is only 12 months in Tennessee). Larry’s family brought suit against THE COCHRAN FIRM for its FRAUD, serving same to the firm’s Atlanta Office at 127 Peachtree Street. (Neals v. The Cochran Firm, Superior Court of Fulton County, Georgia, Civil Action No. 2005CV104215; filed 8/1/05). The Atlanta office of THE COCHRAN FIRM, at 127 Peachtree Street, is the office I contacted for legal representation on the morning Larry died. The Atlanta office arranged for my mother to interview and sign contract in THE COCHRAN FIRM’s Memphis office, and we were promised that both offices of THE COCHRAN FIRM (Atlanta and Memphis) would work together to see that justice was done regarding my brother’s wrongful death. THE COCHRAN FIRM answered our suit in the name of COCHRAN, CHERRY, GIVENS, SMITH & SISTRUNK, P.C. (“CCGSS”), and it denied being THE COCHRAN FIRM, or having any affiliation with THE COCHRAN FIRM offices. Surprisingly, Judge Wendy Shoob agreed that THERE IS NO COCHRAN FIRM IN GEORGIA, and she dismissed our suit. Meanwhile, THE COCHRAN FIRM goes ahead with its advertising to millions of Georgians daily on MARTA and television commercials telling more clients/victims to bring their legal cases to that office. Additionally, the Atlanta office of THE COCHRAN FIRM at 127 Peachtree Street is listed first on THE COCHRAN FIRM’S web site, which lists a total of 19 offices across America. Yet, that firm was allowed in Fulton County Superior Court of Georgia to successfully hide from the Neal’s lawsuit behind an alias and it denied even being THE COCHRAN FIRM. Wonder why they were allowed to get away with that? Every good criminal has an alias and some have many, but giving authorities a false name when caught for wrongdoing never excuses the crime, does it? In any case, the Neals were denied their day in court against this fraudulent law firm (THE COCHRAN FIRM) because the COCHRAN FIRM’S Atlanta office claimed in Fulton County Superior Court of Georgia not to even be THE COCHRAN FIRM. Just who is THE COCHRAN FIRM, really?

Check out our web site: http://wrongfuldeathoflarryneal.com. It will soon have the full details. It was necessary for Larry’s family to purchase this web site because my brother’s wrongful incarceration and death and the duplicity of THE COCHRAN FIRM is apparently being treated like some kind of censored and highly classified information to be kept from the airwaves and print media. The television networks and newspapers continue to ignore this major news event. Wonder why? Traditionally, any news events that involve high-profile personalities or companies (like THE COCHRAN FIRM certainly is) would be touted across the front page, especially if the company was founded by and mostly populated by successful African Americans. Contrarily, every reporter we have talked with about what happened to my brother for nearly four years has shown great interest initially, but after a few days, the reporter will be on vacation when we try to call back. Every lawyer we speak with is for some reason unwilling to represent the Neals in this very obvious case of malpractice and fraud by THE COCHRAN FIRM. Legal organizations that serve the indigent population, but not in civil action cases (lawsuits), reported that they could not help, but they have been contacted by others who also claimed The Cochran Firm has buried their cases against police. Just who is THE COCHRAN FIRM, really? Certainly, since African Americans have placed great confidence in this law firm as a powerful ally in our struggle against racism and injustice, there has been no major civil unrest behind police shootings, and this is good, but just who is THE COCHRAN FIRM?

Existing corporations in Georgia should be registered with the Secretary of State’s Office. See on the reverse of this flyer what The Secretary of State says about CCGSS – the alias that THE COCHRAN FIRM used to dodge our lawsuit regarding its substitution of this name in answering our lawsuit. I tried to warn the family of the Ms. Johnston, the 92-year-old woman who was killed by Atlanta police, that choosing THE COCHRAN FIRM to represent them against police may be a bad decision. I called and reported to all the Atlanta network stations that JUDGE SHOOB AND THE COCHRAN FIRM’S ATLANTA OFFICE SAID THERE IS NO COCHRAN FIRM IN GEORGIA. Immediately, references on televised news to THE COCHRAN FIRM representing the family of Ms. Johnston immediately ended and were replaced with references to “a friend and spokesman for the family” of the deceased. Wonder if the family was treated fairly?

We hope you will investigate these claims and be more aware of the way mentally ill people are treated in this culture. They need and deserve hospitalization, not jail. Be more aware of THE COCHRAN FIRM. Are they really working for “the common people” as they claim, or merely working to keep “the common men” calm while the system abuses them? WHY CAN’T THE COCHRAN FIRM STAND UP AND ANSWER OUR ALLEGATIONS UNDER THE SAME IDENTITY IT USED TO TRICK MY ELDERLY MOTHER INTO CONTRACTING WITH THAT LAW FIRM FOR LEGAL ASSISTANCE AFTER THE WRONGFUL DEATH OF HER POOR SON? Please pray for my family as we continue to ask for a just resolution regarding the euthanasia of my brother and to fight for the humane treatment of other mentally ill people in our society. Pray that THE COCHRAN FIRM or some other law firm will some day come forward to really become the champion of justice for disenfranchised people in our country. Questions may be directed to: Mary Neal, Larry’s sister, at the following e-mail address: mln@wrongfuldeathoflarryneal.com.


jenny m anderson

hi im doind a reasearch paper on the atlanta police im asking your permission to use this story to make everyone aware that atlanta police act befor they investagate please contact me giveing me your blessing to use this story.


I wanted to update this page because it hit high on my google search results for this my research of this case…. It was later found that the officers falsified the warrant and lied about being shot. Karthryn did fire one shot when the police entered the house unidentified, but she hit the ceiling. The officers then fired over 30 shots- 6 of which hit Kathryn killing her. The 3 injuries sustained by the police were from friendly fire… in other words the police were so gun happy or poorly trained that they shot 3 of their own during the invasion. Read more on Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathryn_Johnston).

You are much more likely to be killed by a police officer than by Al Qaida.


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