Slain elderly woman killed in botched raid honored by church community

ATLANTA — A local church honored an elderly woman killed during a botched drug raid by creating a nonprofit in her honor.

Sunday’s service was an annual tradition. In Atlanta’s English Avenue community, where the neighborhood came together to honor Kathryn Johnston Day.

Kathryn Johnston was shot by Atlanta police during a botched drug raid

Lindsay Street Baptist Church recognizes Johnston each year after her shooting death by Atlanta police during a botched drug raid led to manslaughter charges and prison for several officers and a nearly $5 million settlement from the city of Atlanta.

Senior pastor Anthony Motley told Channel 2's Rikki Klaus that the church refuses to forget the tragedy 11 years ago that made headlines around the world.


“(She was) one of the grandmothers of the English Avenue community. It was a tragic murder, killing, break-in to her home. It was the serving by the Atlanta Police Department of a no-knock warrant that went terribly awry,” Motley said.

Kathryn Johnston was shot by Atlanta police during a botched drug raid

Motley told Klaus he is finding light in the dark situation.

“Human beings, God’s children live in this community. Her death helped to wipe out the stigma. Out of the ugliness of it has come some beauty,” Motley said.

In response to Johnston’s death, Motley said business leaders and his church teamed up through the Friends of English Avenue Organization to lift up the community, through gardens, education and police presence.

Sunday, church leaders said they’re launching a new nonprofit with the help of Atlanta’s business community to continue that good work.