This is becoming an epidemic in Atlanta:
Two months and a day before Kathryn Johnston, there was Frances Thompson.
The 80-year-old Thompson was in her bedroom the afternoon of Sept. 20, when she heard a terrible crash and shouting. Startled and confused, she grabbed a pistol and was immediately confronted by three Atlanta narcotics officers.
"They had masks covering their face. I thought I was being robbed," she recalled. "They pointed those big guns at me."
Lead officer Gary Smith said repeatedly "Police! Drop the Gun!" from behind his raid shield, according to a police report. Thompson, who had pointed the gun at the intruders, put down the black revolver as officers searched her apartment for a drug dealer named "Hollywood."
No one else was home. No drugs were found. And her pistol was a toy cap gun.
The raid at Thompson’s home stunned the members of Atlanta Police Department’s narcotics Team 1.The near-disaster led five members of the team to seek a meeting with their boss, Sgt. Wilbert T. Stallings, according to John Garland, attorney for Jason R. Smith, one of the officers involved. Smith was one of two officers who pleaded guilty last week to killing 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston and lying to get a warrant for the fatal raid on Nov. 21.