Another Victim in the War on Drugs

Perhaps you've already seen this story, which is your "what the hell?!" moment for today: Questions surround fatal shooting of woman, 92

There are more questions than answers this morning in a northwest Atlanta neighborhood where a 92-year-old woman was killed in a shootout with police on Tuesday night. Three officers were wounded in the shooting.

State Rep. "Able" Mable Thomas (D-Atlanta) on Wednesday called Kathryn Johnston's death "unfortunate" and said a number of upset neighbors and other residents called to say neither Johnston nor her Neal Street home were in any way connected to illegal drug activity, as police suggested.

Thomas said neighbors who have contacted her described Johnston as a "good neighbor" and "law abiding."

Johnston, who lived alone, allegedly fired on three Atlanta narcotics officers who broke down her front door trying to serve a search warrant. The officers were taken to Grady Memorial Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Now, I don't know what the facts are in this case, regarding whether the 92-year-old woman was dealing drugs or not. But the very fact that the cops are engaging in this kind of behavior, bashing down people's doors and shooting them, is troublesome, and is far worse than than any potential lawbreaking going on in the home of a nonagenarian.

There have been numerous cases of the cops breaking down the wrong door and shooting people, and God help the homeowner who sees potential home invaders breaking down his door and shoots them. People who were innocent of any other crime have gone to jail for shooting non-uniformed cops that broke down their doors.

And now some thieves have taken a page from the cops' book and have broken into people's homes announcing that they are cops and then proceeded to rob them.

The War on (some) Drugs makes criminals out of people who are engaging in consensual activities that may cause harm to themselves but don't usual cause harm to others. It means that we, the taxpayers, have to pay for the room and board of non-violent consensual criminals in our state prisons. Frankly, I'd rather have the drug "criminals" out in the community paying for their own room and board.

And I'd certainly rather see drugs legalized (and taxed, heavily) and the cops going after REAL criminals rather than blowing away little old ladies. You know, murderers, rapists, thieves, that kind of thing. Not somebody who wants to smoke a joint or snort a line of coke. If they're stupid enough to use drugs, it should be their own damn business, not the government's. If they commit a real crime, whether one of violence or against property, while under the influence, make that an aggravating factor in sentencing. But for chrissakes, it's time to stop throwing dopers in jail just for being dopers!