Arthur Tesler was the only officer to take part in the Kathryn Johnston raid who didn’t take a plea bargain. Despite admitting that he lied, helped cover up Johnston’s murder, and stood watch outside while other officers handcuffed the bleeding 92-year-woman—allowing her to die while they planted marijuana in her basement—he was convicted today only on the charge of lying to investigators. He’ll face a maximum of five years in prison.
The one good thing to come out of the case is we got to see just how vast, deep, and pernicious the culture of corruption and disregard for civil rights ran in Atlanta’s police department. Tesler testified that narcotics officers were required to serve nine warrants and make two arrest per month, or they’d risk losing their jobs. This led to routine lying on warrants and bullying and intimidation of informants. What we don’t know is how many people were wrongly raided, arrested, and jailed because of all of this.