Artist: Memorial painting for police shooting victim goes missing

Artist: Kathryn Johnston memorial goes missing

ATLANTA -- A memorial painting that has become a fixture in one northwest Atlanta community has gone missing.

Artist Janssen Robinson creating a painting of Kathryn Johnston to honor the victim of one of Atlanta's most infamous police shootings.

In November 2006, Johnston was shot and killed inside of her Neal Street home when three Atlanta police officers kicked in the door during a botched drug raid. Officers had the wrong house; instead of drugs, they found only a 92-year-old woman inside, armed with the old gun she kept for protection. Frightened by the noise, Johnston fired at the officers and they fired back, killing her.

The incident exposed corruption within the Atlanta Police Department and rocked the northwest Atlanta community.

Robinson lives right next door to the home where Johnston was killed. His family had been her neighbors for years and Robinson moved in two years after her death. When he did, he brought a painting of Johnston he created to hang outside of her home. He hoped it would be a step to help the community heal.

"Rather than it being a boarded up house in memory of her, I wanted to capture who she was," Robinson said. "It's been in the window since 2008 and nobody's bothered it the entire time."

But that changed this week. Robinson said he came home Saturday night and noticed the painting was gone.

"Every time I come home, I look up to see Kathryn Johnston in the window and last night, I looked into the window and it was a board," Robinson told 11Alive's Blayne Alexander.

When contacted by 11Alive News, a spokesperson for the Atlanta Police Department said they do not have a police report about the missing painting. Robinson said he called APD and tried to report it, but was told he could not file a report because he does not live in the home.

Robinson is hopeful whoever took it has good intentions and will return it safely. Next month marks the 10th anniversary of Johnston's death; community organizers are planning a month-long celebration in her honor.

"It helps people remember who she was and what she meant to the community," Robinson said of the painting. "She meant a lot."

(© 2016 WXIA)


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