Sunday, November 26, 2006

Journalism 003

Atlanta --

Kathryn Johnston was killed last week. In her own home. By police. She was 92.

"You don't know who's in the house until you open that door," said Assistant Police Chief Alan Dreher last week. "And once they forced open the door, they were immediately fired upon."

Police officers claimed that they were serving a warrant on a man known only as "Sam", who had allegedly sold drugs to an undercover officer earlier and was believed to be in Johnston's home. He was not. But Johnston was. And she was holding the six-shot revolver that her niece had bought her for protection in "Georgia's worst neighborhood."

Johnston shot and wounded three of the officers in their legs and arms -- one officer was shot in the leg, on the side of his face and his bulletproof vest -- before they returned fire and shot her to death.

Al Harley, a 50-year-old homeless man who hangs out in front of a neighborhood convenience store, said residents follow a sort of credo: "Don't let anyone disrespect your door."

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