“..Because they couldn’t kick down the security gate two officers set upon it with a pry bar and a battering ram in the dark around 7 p.m. on Nov. 21, 2006.
Burglars, Johnston (92) probably thought, or worse — an elderly neighbor had recently been raped.
No doubt she was terrified.
That is why, as the cops got closer and closer, she found her gun.
And why, as the door was opening, she fired one shot.
It didn’t hit anyone.
But it provoked a hail of return fire — 39 shots, 5 or 6 of which hit her (and some of which struck other policemen).
By the time the officers burst inside, Kathryn Johnston lay in a pool of blood.
Waiting outside, in the back of a police van, was the small-time dealer who told the police there were drugs in the house.
He did so under pressure: earlier in the day, three members of the narcotics team, working on their monthly quota of busts, rousted him from his spot in front of a store.
Tell us where we can find some weight, they said, or you’re going to jail.
The dealer climbed into a car with them and, a few blocks away, to save his own skin, pointed out Kathryn Johnston’s house —
- it stood out from the others on the block because it had a wheelchair ramp in front.
How did the dealer feel as he watched the home invasion, heard the fusillade of shots?
And, inside the house, how long did it take for the police to realize their grave error -
- and for some of them to decide to handcuff a fatally wounded woman -
- and plant drugs in order to cover it up?..”
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