There's something realled messed up about this story...


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willbrink
August 10, 2008, 07:33 PM
(CNN) -- A Maryland mayor is asking the federal government to investigate why SWAT team members burst into his home without knocking and shot his two dogs to death in an investigation into a drug smuggling scheme.

"This has been a difficult week and a half for us," Cheye Calvo, mayor of Berwyn Heights, Maryland, said Thursday. "We lost our family dogs. We did it at the hands of sheriff's deputies who burst through our front door, rifles blazing."

The raid last week was led by the Prince George's County Police Department, with the sheriff's special operations team assisting, after a package of marijuana was sent to Calvo's home.

Authorities say the package was part of a scheme in which drugs are mailed to unknowing recipients and then intercepted.

Calvo said he had just returned home from walking his two Labrador retrievers, Chase and Payton, when his mother-in-law told him a package had arrived for his wife, Trinity Tomsic.

Moments later, Calvo was in his room changing for a meeting when he heard commotion downstairs.

"The door flew open," he said. "I heard gunfire shoot off. There was a brief pause and more gunfire."

Calvo said he was brought downstairs at gunpoint in his boxer shorts, handcuffed and forced onto the floor with his mother-in-law near the carcass of one of dead dogs.

"I noticed my two dead dogs lying in pools of their own blood," Calvo said.

Calvo said his mother-in-law is still recovering from the incident.

"She got the worst of it," Calvo said. "She was literally in the kitchen, cooking a lovely pasta dish, and they brought down the door and shot our dogs."

While he was being held, Calvo said, he told police he is the town's mayor, but they didn't believe him.

Berwyn Heights has its own police force, he said, but Prince George's County police did not notify the municipal authorities of their interest in his home or the package.

"They didn't know my name. All they knew was my wife's name. They matched that to the registration of the car," Calvo said. "It was that lack of communication that really led to what has really been the most traumatic experience of our lives."

After the raid, arrests were made in the package interception scheme.

The incident has prompted the couple to call for a federal investigation because, they say, they don't believe police are capable of conducting an internal investigation.

"They've said they've done nothing wrong," Calvo said. "I didn't sign up for this fight, but I think what we have to do now is make changes to how Prince George's County police and Prince George's County sheriff's department operate."

Calvo said authorities entered his home without knocking and refused to show him a warrant when he requested one.

But Prince George's County Police Department spokeswoman Sharon Taylor said legal counsel had informed her that "no-knock" warrants do not exist in Maryland.

Taylor said authorities were acting on a warrant issued based on information available to them at the time.

"This warrant was for permission to search the premises," she said. "The special operations team that supported us made a decision about the necessity of entry at the point of being on the scene."

"No-knock" warrants have drawn criticism before. In Atlanta, Georgia, Kathryn Johnston, 92, was shot to death by police in a botched drug raid involving such a warrant in November.

Taylor, a self-described dog lover, expressed sympathy for the loss of Calvo's dogs, but stopped short of apologizing for the incident.

"We've done these similar kinds of operations over and over again, to the tune of removing billions of dollars of drugs from the community and without people or animals being harmed," she said. "We don't want any of our operations to result in the injury or loss of anybody, and certainly not animals."

The deputies have said they killed the two animals because they felt threatened.

"I would say that the dogs presented a threat, I would imagine, to the special operations situation," Taylor said.

Meanwhile, Calvo and his wife said members of the community have expressed sympathy and concern about the incident.
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At a news conference Thursday, Tomsic tearfully recalled a recent encounter with a neighbor who used to wave at the couple as they walked Payton and Chase.

"She gave me a big hug," Tomsic said. "She said, 'If the police shot your dogs dead and did this to you, how can I trust them?' "

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Jim K
August 10, 2008, 07:46 PM
That is really causing a stir in PG Co. The thing started when some drug dealers got the idea to transport MJ and avoid using their names by shipping it to addressees on the route of a deliveryman who was in on the scheme. He would deliver the package, leaving it on the lawn or porch, then an accomplice would pick it up.

But in this case, the mayor picked up the box and took it inside before the retrieval could be accomplished. Meantime, drug dogs had sniffed out the package at the depot and the cops were following it.

Knowing nothing of the deliveryman scheme, they assumed the stuff was for the mayor's wife, the person to whom the package was addressed.

The rest is pretty well covered in the story. The cops never checked to see who lived in the house, and apparently either never got a warrant or never got the necessary "no knock" warrant for immediate forced entry.

This is not the first time this sort of thing has happened. One resident pointed out that the big fuss is only because the innocent victim is the mayor and white. Had he been black, they say, the whole thing would be covered up.

Jim

john1911
August 10, 2008, 07:55 PM
We really need to take a step back and really look what way police are going in this country. This "no knock" BS has got to stop. It's just an excuse for Barney Fife and Co. to dress up and play soldier.

762 shooter
August 10, 2008, 08:08 PM
I'm sure everyone was just doing their job. It's not my fault. Just following orders. They have gotten a lot of drugs off the street and to make an omelette you have to break a few eggs. You have to give up some rights to be protected by your government.

Doesn't everyone feel safer now?

Let's all join hands," Kum Bay Yah my lord Kum Bay Yah"

Lord I apologize for that and bless the little pygmies in South America.

brerrabbit
August 10, 2008, 08:21 PM
Ibtl

This topic does have as much to do with guns as most of the topics do.

Use of firearms by citizens is discussed often. There are many threads about this.

But discussion of those charged with protecting us when they are caught using firearms and heavy handed tactics without due diligence or cause with the end result of the trampling of rights,dead people, or animals, will get a thread lock pretty quick

KelVarnson
August 10, 2008, 08:43 PM
With all due respect to the mods:

This topic just keeps coming up, and just keeps getting locked. People want to talk about it.

I took your advice and went over to APS in hopes of joining a good discussion over there about it, but was dismayed to only find talk about how to fortify your home like a castle, how to rig booby traps, etc. Maybe there are other threads there by now that are more on-topic, but to tell you the truth I got tired of looking.

I would like to see an intelligent discussion of how far away this particular case is from the REASON the Founding Fathers wrote the Second Amendment. Is this event even CLOSE to the original context of 2A?

I know this forum is private property, and I respect and understand it if you lock this again. But thanks for your consideration.

Standing Wolf
August 10, 2008, 08:45 PM
This is not the first time this sort of thing has happened. One resident pointed out that the big fuss is only because the innocent victim is the mayor and white. Had he been black, they say, the whole thing would be covered up.

RHIP, right?

Jeff White
August 10, 2008, 08:52 PM
With all due respect to the mods:

This topic just keeps coming up, and just keeps getting locked. People want to talk about it.

With all due respect to the membership. It's not on topic here and it doesn't matter how many of you want to talk about it. THR has rules. THR is not a democracy. The fact that it keeps getting locked is what we in law enforcement call a clue!

Perhaps we should just ban the next person who opens a thread on this subject. Take the hint. If it was off topic before, it's off topic now.

Jeff

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