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What Social Animals Owe to Each Other

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The War on Drugs Claims Another Life

Once again the idiotic and misnamed War on Drugs has claimed the life of someone minding her own business, this time a frail 88-year-old woman who lived alone in Atlanta. A narcotics squad broke into Kathryn Johnston's home the night of November 21. She greeted the intruders with fire from the rusty pistol her niece gave her for protection in her bad neighborhood. Although she wounded three policemen, the officers returned fire and killed her.

The police say they obtained a no-knock warrant after an unidentified informant told them he bought crack cocaine from a man at Johnston's home. But later the informant told a television reporter he was instructed by the police to make up the whole story. See the details here.

What is there to say? Such atrocities almost certainly wouldn't be happening but for drug prohibition, which has turned the police into out-of-control paramilitary organizations.

For the low-down on this alarming development, see Radley Balko's Cato White Paper "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America." And for updates on the continuing story in Atlanta, visit Balko's blog, The Agitator.

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