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(No this is not about politics so please don't interject any, but it seems like the police in the following area have waaaaay to much power. No knock warrant needed? Huh!? \:o \:o \:o Sure glad I don't live there!)

Thoughts?

Mayor wants federal probe after SWAT raids house, kills dogs

(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. Video Watch authorities defend their actions

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.

Snip...

http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/08/07/...ant/index.html

Last edited by Cecil Baird1; 08/08/08 08:42 AM.

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The County spokesperson says that they have removed BILLIONS of $ worth of illegal drugs from the community using the warrants. Now, that is a lot of dope and I wonder where she got that number.

Labs are a threat?


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 Originally Posted By: Dave Davidson1
The County spokesperson says that they have removed BILLIONS of $ worth of illegal drugs from the community using the warrants. Now, that is a lot of dope and I wonder where she got that number.

Labs are a threat?


I've never figured out how any dog is a threat when you've got an assault rifle in your hands and body armor.

And just for the record I don't have a beef against cops doing their job. I have a very good friend that is a police captain. It's just this is so out of line IMHO. Reminds me of the case of the vacationing family that was pulled over in Tenneesee because they were mistakenly thought to be bank robbers. They made the Mom and Dad and two kids get out of the car and lay face flat on the ground, and when the beagle on the car seat barked at one of the officers he blew it away. Their superior said the officers were justified. Say what? \:o


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Dogs and cops don't mix. Bad, bad, bad, situation. Unfortunately the analysis of this incident is not WHAT they did during the raid it is WHY they did the raid. Who gave the green light? All of their actions are acceptable after the green light, sorry but doors get kicked in, dogs get shot, and people get cuffed all the time. But who called the ball on the green light? Everything stems from the green light. Horrible horrible stuff.
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I'm confused. If the quantity of marijuana was enough to justify breaking down someone's door like that, wouldn't it make sense to stake the place out and do some research first? I think I would want to collect the names and identities of everyone living there and observe who comes and goes. If it's not worth doing some research then it's not worth entering the way these cops did.

I found an article that claims the package of marijuana weighed 32 lbs. That's not a small quantity, but at the same time there is legislation being proposed right now to legalize pot and it has the support of some US representatives.

 Quote:
A resolution before US Congress that would decriminalize marijuana possession and use for responsible adults now has six co-sponsors, including crucial support from members of the Congressional Black Caucus, Atlanta Progressive News has learned.
ARTICLE

I'm not saying that law enforcement should ignore standing laws, but I think it would be reasonable to consider the actual threat to the community before risking lives with this type of action. An innocent person could have easily been shot in this case.



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I agree with GW completely. It is hard, if not impossible to believe, that the special operations unit did not know what they were getting themselves into before the raid. Do they expect us to believe they were this unprepared going into a raid? Very irresponsible in my opinion.


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 Originally Posted By: GW

I'm not saying that law enforcement should ignore standing laws, but I think it would be reasonable to consider the actual threat to the community before risking lives with this type of action. An innocent person could have easily been shot in this case.


You mean like 88 year old Kathryn Johnson that was shot and killed by police when she fired a shot into the ceiling because she thought someone (in this case the police) were breaking into her house?

This case was another "no knock needed warrant." Oh and btw read the article below on Kathryn. The police fired 39 shots at an 88 year old woman vs. her one shot into the ceiling, and the officers that were injured were injured by their own gunfire. If I was that scared of a potential perp and that reckless with my gunfire I think it's time to find another line of work. I sure am glad I didn't serve with guys like that in the military. \:o

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathryn_Johnston



Last edited by Cecil Baird1; 08/08/08 12:47 PM.

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The Johnston shooting and this incident although on their face seem to be related they really are not. The Johnston shooting involved police malfeasance in which their entire operation was illegal. This shooting in Maryland appears to be police misfeasance. Both can result in the same thing but are worlds apart.
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 Originally Posted By: Toby Davis
The Johnston shooting and this incident although on their face seem to be related they really are not. The Johnston shooting involved police malfeasance in which their entire operation was illegal. This shooting in Maryland appears to be police misfeasance. Both can result in the same thing but are worlds apart.
Toby


Could you elaborate Toby? Seems you are saying both are police misfeasance but at the same time they are worlds apart? I'm confused.


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It is confusing Cecil, but at the same time it is confusing, so I'm not surprised you can't tell the difference.

I have two friends that are cops, one is a detective now for a large city and one state trooper, I have known both of these guys over 30 years.

Toby you sound like a cop yourself. You speak about the green light and people getting cuffed all the time, but I'm sorry it is not acceptable to shoot a dog in someones home because you have a badge. At least police malfeasance is a well know concept and not an oxymoron like jumbo shrimp, two words that don't go together.

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What I don't understand is that it seems like the police knew the scam was to send the drugs to an address where the resident was not invovled and had no idea what was going on, and then the criminals would intercept the package.

If that was the case, why break in to the residence because they would have already known that the residents were not involved.

I guess we don't have all the facts, and in the end, we will probably never have all the facts.


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i will withhold any judgement with this information comein from cnn?


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nicely put rodeo.....nice to see ya posting again.....


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I don't know much about CNN but this story isn't exclusively theirs.

Here's the Associated Press article: http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5it3aTQrD8Kz2hZ6GDZybEvffY1hgD92DS8KG1



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i have gotten very involved in the upcomeing events in ower contry so please dont get me started i will be puting up a blog on the state of ower nation very soon i will give the add. by pm to thoughs intrested.


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associated press cnn not mutch diff.


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From the AP article:
 Quote:
Police announced Wednesday they had arrested two men suspected in a plot to smuggle 417 pounds of marijuana, and seized a total of $3.6 million in pot. Investigators said the package that arrived on Calvo's porch had been sent from Los Angeles via FedEx, and they had been tracking it ever since it drew the attention of a drug-sniffing dog in Arizona.

Police intercepted it in Maryland, and an undercover detective posing as a deliveryman took it to the Calvo home.

Calvo's defenders including the Berwyn Heights police chief, who said his department should have been alerted ahead of time said police had no right to enter the home without knocking.




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sory just cant do it


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I can get MD stations, and it was on their local news.

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Unfortunately these things do happen and usually turn out badly. But I guess if the cops raid the wrong place and nobody gets shot we won't hear about it---ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, and the AP would not think a non-tragic mistake by police would be newsworthy.

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 Originally Posted By: letsrodeo
i have gotten very involved in the upcomeing events in ower contry so please dont get me started i will be puting up a blog on the state of ower nation very soon i will give the add. by pm to thoughs intrested.


Yeah please keep the politics off the site.


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In more civilized times, a polite cop would knock on the door and ask to talk to someone. The cops started watching cop movies complete with muscular SWAT teams dressed in ski masks, and started copying Hollywood. It hasn't been right since life started imitating art.

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(No this is not about politics so please don't interject any, but it seems like the police in the following area have waaaaay to much power

YOUR INTIRE POST WAS POLITICS NICE TO SEE THINGS HAVENT CHANGED


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 Originally Posted By: bobad
In more civilized times, a polite cop would knock on the door and ask to talk to someone. The cops started watching cop movies complete with muscular SWAT teams dressed in ski masks, and started copying Hollywood. It hasn't been right since life started imitating art.


So true, bobad. Let's also interject that the bad guys were behind the door with a snub nosed 32 instead of an AK-47. Welll...I guess there were a few Tommy guns in the roaring 20's.

It seems that the AP story had a lot more detail of the history of the package than CNN.


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A few years back the local Drug task forces dropped in via chopper on a backyard pot field hidden under camouflage mesh. Boy were there faces red when the discovered it was a guy's prize tomato patch. It was during a extreme dry period and he was using the cover to save water.

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