Mother shot dead by police as they raided home to arrest her son for marijuana
A woman was shot dead during a drug raid that took place in her home after she allegedly fired a pellet gun at the officers who broke into her home looking to arrest her son.
Michael Anthony Livingston, 50 was a suspect who was thought to be engaging in the illegal trade of a drug that is legal across half the country — marijuana. Since the plant isn't legal in many parts of the US, there are several who violently kidnap, cage, and kill people over the drug. And owing to the war on drugs, Livingston has been imprisoned and his mother is now dead.
Geraldine Townsend, 72, was shot to death by the Bartlesville SWAT team who raided her home, executing a search warrant to bust the suspect Michael over the illegal sale of marijuana. When they broke into her house, big mighty men with guns, she like anyone else would, freaked out. She thought they may have been burglars trying to get inside the house to steal and probably harm her and her son.
Not knowing who the invaders were, she picked up a pellet gun and fired two shots hitting the officers. When they heard the gun go off, a Bartlesville officer in their defense shot her and killed her.
“While taking Livingston into custody officers heard shots, and two officers were struck with some type of projectile,” Jay Hastings, the Bartlesville Police Capt. said.
He said the 72-year-old pointed “some type of high-powered pellet handgun” at officers who were forced to return fire. They struck her chest and then she later died in the hospital.
Livingston was arrested while he watched the entire scenario play itself out in front of his very own eyes. He saw his mother getting shot and helplessly watched her bleed to death on the floor of their home.
As Tulsa World reports,
Four officers had entered the house in the 1600 block of South Maple Avenue in Bartlesville to serve a drug-related search warrant when the shots were fired about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday. Livingston and the address were allegedly tied to the sale of drugs.
One officer returned fire, striking Townsend in the upper body. Bartlesville police did not identify the officer who discharged a service weapon. Townsend allegedly shot one officer in the leg and another in the face with the pellet gun.
Emergency responders transported Townsend and one officer she shot to a local hospital. Police initially said her condition “appears to be critical.” Townsend died there from her injuries, Hastings said.
The investigation into the shooting has now been turned over to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and 'no further details' can be released regarding the case, according to Hastings.
After the raid took place, the only thing that was recovered by the police was marijuana. According to court records, Livingston was sent to the Washington County Jail on account of possession of marijuana, possession of paraphernalia, possession of a firearm, commission of a felony, and possession of eavesdropping equipment.
There may be people who would justify the killing of this innocent woman saying her son was involved in the sale of illegal drugs and was breaking the law. They may also say she broke the law when she tried to harm a cop who broke into her house. But before we analyze the person who is at the wrong end over here, it is important to understand if the whole situation played morally right.
Keeping aside the fact that it is not legal, can one answer if it was morally right for the cops to raid, shoot, kill, and arrest someone over the same drug that is otherwise legal in other parts of the world? I mean consider this — Had Livingston been living in Colorado, where the sale of marijuana is not frowned upon, he would have been seen as a good citizen who's helping the local economy by selling a plant that has helped revolutionize the state.
Instead, because he lived in Oklahoma-where anything to do with marijuana is viciously attacked by drug warriors- he is spending his time inside a jail with an amount of $500,000 bail and a dead mother.
If you actually consider the situation that took place, you would realize how it did not involve one victim. The suspect had not harmed a soul, and his mother who was just trying to protect herself was shot down in her own home. No place is safe when marijuana is in question.
It’s wasn’t a war on drugs. It was a war on certain people who used drugs. This is very personal to me. Read my 9 reasons why we need to think differently about marijuana. https://t.co/aEjiOOP6p7— al harrington (@cheddahcheese7) January 17, 2018
The war on drugs has gone way beyond anyone's liking. It has turned entrepreneurs into criminals, it has forced cops into chasing people and breaking into homes, putting their lives at risk as well, and resulted in the killing of numerous other innocent people, one of whom who was the mother (who was only trying to defend herself) to a man who now remains caged while all he did was sell a plant.
Each precious minute this unfair war continues, we are reminded of how corrupt our justice system is and just how insulting it is to humanity. The time may have finally arrived for this war to end.