Jalita J. Johnson, 26.
That’s what’s wrong with America—Jalita J. Johnson.
On April 23, Jalita swaggered into Arrowhead Pawn, 6433-A Tara Boulevard, Jonesboro, Georgia, not far from her home in Atlanta, with cash in one hand and a cell phone in the other. On the telephone advising her was a sometime boyfriend named Marcus Wheeler, also 26, a known gang-banger with a substantial criminal resume, including charges for a string of shootings and a five-year jail term for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. He had been released from prison in 2014.
With the money Wheeler had given her to make the purchase, Jalita, who barely knew a semi-auto from a Seminole, purchased a 9mm Glock, a “50-round drum magazine,” and two boxes of ammo. She lied to the pawn shop owner, lied on the forms required for the purchase, and, upon returning home, turned the pistol over to Wheeler who, as a convicted felon, was barred from possessing a firearm.
A month later in Omaha, Nebraska, police detective Kerrie Orozco, 29, responded to a call for help from a fellow officer. Orozco had given birth, prematurely, to a baby daughter named Olivia Ruth in February, and the infant was still in the hospital’s prenatal care unit. Responding to the call would be Orozco’s final official act before going on maternity leave to take her baby home.
Now on May 20, not a month after Jalita’s illegal purchase, Orozco and a fellow officer were attempting to arrest a man who was wanted for an earlier shooting. It was Wheeler and in his pocket was the Glock pistol loaded with Jalita’s bullets. Without warning, Wheeler drew the gun and shot Orozco. The bullet blew through the officer’s neck just above her protective vest. The second officer then shot and killed Wheeler.
After carrying out an emergency trace on Wheeler’s gun, Atlanta ATF agents arrested Jalita Johnson. It wasn’t easy for Jalita to explain where the money came from to buy the Glock. Or why her boyfriend, the now deceased Wheeler, had sent her several text messages while she was in the pawn shop, texts that clearly directed her purchase.
Jalita, of course, lied to them also. She was not sure of the make or model of the gun she had purchased, she said. The agents showed her a copy of the firearms transaction record from the pawn shop and she admitted it looked like the one she had filled out when she bought the gun, the one where she had checked “Yes” to the question asking whether she was the actual buyer of the gun. And yes, that looked like her signature, a little bit. Under oath, she suggested that “someone who lived with her” might have taken the gun, she wasn’t quite sure … maybe. She couldn’t remember.
In August, Jalita Johnson finally admitted that yes, she bought the Glock, the ammo, and a 50-round magazine, and yes, they were paid for and intended to be used by the now deceased boyfriend, Marcus Wheeler.
In October, Jalita Johnson plead guilty to providing false information to a federally licensed firearms dealer when she purchased the gun.
U.S. District Judge Eleanor L. Ross, an Obama administration appointee, sentenced Jalita to a year of probation and ordered her to perform 40 hours of “community service” and serve 180 days of house arrest. A year of probation for being an accessory to the murder of a white cop. And 40 hours of community service for being an accessory to the murder of a young mother. And 180 days of house arrest for being an accessory to the murder of a loving wife and irreplaceable member of the community. In other words, Eleanor Ross sentenced Jalita J. Johnson to milk and cookies.
That’s what’s wrong with America—Eleanor Ross.
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