I know some people don't like that Southern staple, okra. Still, it isn't any reason to launch a full force raid with cop cars and a helicopter on someone growing it. However, mistaking the five-leafed vegetable for marijuana might be.
A Bartow County, GA Sheriffs Department drug task force raided Dwayne Perry's garden in Cartersville last week after a spotter in a Governor's Task Force for Drug Suppression helicopter misidentified the okra for pot.
Mr. Perry is understandably upset by the whole incident.
"Here I am, at home and retired and you know I do the right thing,” Perry said. “Then they come to my house strapped with weapons for no reason. It ain't right."...Given the record of some Georgia police departments conducting SWAT-type raids, Mr. Perry was right to be worried. It was in Habersham County, Georgia that a toddler was critically injured by a stun grenade in a raid in which no drugs were found. And it was in Atlanta where 92-year old Kathryn Johnson was killed in a botched drug raid. That raid left the elderly woman dead and a number of cops going to Federal prison.
"The more I thought about it, what could have happened? Anything could have happened,” Perry said.
Perry said he's still getting calls about all of the deputy vehicles that responded at his home. He fears his reputation has been damaged.
If I were Mr. Perry, I might be consulting a good attorney.