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Rep. John Lewis on Kathryn Johnston Murder

May 7, 2007
Press Release
Today Rep. Lewis met with Rev. Hutchins, informant Alex White, and other members of Congress, including Rep. Hank Johnson and the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, John Conyers to discuss the federal implications of the murder of Kathryn Johnston, an elderly Atlanta woman killed in a police raid.  The FBI has indicated it has found evidence of a "culture of corruption" in the Atlanta police department.  The meeting was scheduled for 6 PM today.  It has been delayed by votes on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

"In recent weeks there have been several shootings of ordinary citizens by several police departments in Metropolitan Atlanta.  The murder of Kathryn Johnston is the most tragic.  It is unreal.  It is unbelievable that someone can live to be almost 100 years old, serve our society honorably, and be shot down in her home by officers of the law-members of the Atlanta police department.  I think it is critically important that the state of Georgia, the City of Atlanta, the Fulton County District Attorney's office, the Department of Justice and the FBI conduct thorough investigations to discover the causes of this misconduct at its roots.

"I see the shooting and killing of Ms. Johnston as one piece of a larger puzzle that calls for a complete and full investigation to include the use of informants, the obtaining of questionable warrants, the possible planting of drugs by officers of the law, the allegations of a cover-up, and the use of excessive force in the Atlanta police force.  The credibility of the police department is at stake.  Citizens must have confidence that the police department is there to protect and defend their rights, not to violate them.  We must utilize every means at our disposal, both federally and locally, to ensure that this kind of injustice never, ever happens again."