Settlement Reached in Maryland Mayor's SWAT Raid Lawsuit

Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo's lawsuit against Prince Georges County, Maryland over a 2008 SWAT raid in which his two dogs were shot dead and he was held at gunpoint is over. Calvo told the Washington Post Monday that a settlement had been reached, but declined to comment on the settlement amount or other details, which are still being worked out.

They shoot dogs, don't they? Maybe fewer now. (image via Wikimedia)
Calvo did say that the settlement will bring reforms in the way the county conducts drug raids. How and when SWAT teams are deployed and the humane treatment of pets are among the areas where reforms will occur, he said.

"We're achieving the reforms we were seeking," Calvo said.

A civil trial in the lawsuit was set to begin Monday. The county had no comment as of Monday afternoon.

Calvo's home was raided in July 2008 by Prince Georges Sheriff's SWAT officers who were assisting county police narcotics investigators. Police had been tipped that a package being shipped to Calvo's address contained marijuana. They intercepted the package, delivered it to Calvo's porch, then broke down the door after Calvo, returning from walking his dogs, picked up the package and took it inside.

SWAT officers shot and killed Calvo's two dogs and kept the mayor handcuffed and kneeling on the ground. But it turned out that Calvo had nothing to do with the marijuana, which was being shipped to the addresses of unwitting people to be picked up off their porches by pot dealers before they got home.

Calvo's lawsuit alleged that the SWAT team failed to "knock and announce" their presence before raiding the house and that the county was too loose in its usage of the SWAT team. He also accused the sheriff's department of having no policy for dealing with pets in a home being raided.

Calvo filed suit after the sheriff's department declared itself exonerated following an internal investigation. That and the raid itself were "business as usual" for Prince Georges County, Calvo wrote in a 2009 Washington Post op-ed. That's what prompted him to file the lawsuit, on the same day as the county's announcement. Calvo also successfully lobbied for passage of a statewide SWAT reporting bill.

Here's hoping there really is no more of that sort of "business as usual" in Prince Georges County. And here's thanking Cheye Calvo for standing up to official oppression.

Upper Marlboro, MD
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

Good for him!

 Shame that if it had happened to someone else down the road he'd had turned a deaf ear to their plight.

Ban SWAT THUGS!

Raids of private homes by GOVERNMENT SWAT THUGS serving warrants for low level so called drug crimes happen 100 - 150 times per day in the "Land of the Free". Far too often with results like this:

http://www.opposingviews.com/i/video-outrage-utah-police-kill-marijuana-smoker-in-own-home 

Write ALL your public servants, Federal, State and Local at least once per month and demand an end to SWAT THUG raids and an end to the Constitution TRASHING drug war.

Legalize marijuana! That will end the vast majority of the so called drug war because marijuana accounts for roughly half of the entire illegal drug market.

If you don't know the truth about marijuana and the drug war, EDUCATE YOURSELF! Everyone with a computer should make comments about marijuana/drug war NEWS online. The FACTS are all on the side of legalizing and once they know the truth 80% of voters support legalizing. Blitz the voters with online information from WE THE PEOPLE!  

Here's some of the information I post as often as I can, feel free to use it or any part of it!

The vast majority of problems attributed to marijuana are actually problems directly and completely caused by marijuana PROHIBITION! Every time you see anti-marijuana "news" ALWAYS ask yourself: Was this a problem caused by marijuana or was this problem caused by marijuana PROHIBITION?

How many more lives have to be ruined by marijuana PROHIBITION before We The People step up and legalize marijuana?

When was the last time you heard of alcohol dealers getting into a shootout? I bet it was when alcohol was PROHIBITED.

Why is the most useful plant known illegal? It’s illegal because corporations that buy politicians fear competition from superior, safer and more environmentally friendly hemp products and because the Government loves to oppress jail and steal from the people! Alcohol, tobacco, petroleum, cotton, timber, chemical and pharmaceutical companies, just to name a few, all see marijuana as unwanted competition. The best way for We The People to regain our Constitutional rights and liberties is to demand a complete ban on corporate lobbying. We are supposed to have Government of, for and by THE PEOPLE, not  of, for and by corporations! Corporations are NOT people!

Why should a substance that is far SAFER than aspirin ONLY be legal for those that have a serious ailment? Why should people be forced to use FDA approved poisons instead of a far safer more effective natural plant? Why should a plant that is SAFER than potatoes be regulated and taxed as if it was as dangerous as alcohol? Eating a couple of raw potatoes can give you a toxic reaction but marijuana is nontoxic. Why should people have their kids taken away from them when nontoxic marijuana is found in their home while tobacco is legal and if a baby was to eat even one tobacco cigarette the nicotine in that 1 cigarette could be fatal? Every home in America has far more harmful substances than marijuana under the kitchen sinks.

All major authorities agree that the vast majority of so called “drug-related” violent crime is caused by the prohibition of drugs, rather than the drugs themselves. It was the same during alcohol prohibition. Alcohol prohibition created violent criminal organizations just like every other drug prohibition has. These violent crimes should be labeled PROHIBITION RELATED, not drug related. Ending alcohol prohibition is exactly why you don’t see shootouts over that drug trade any more. THE YEAR ALCOHOL PROHIBITION ENDED VIOLENT CRIME FELL BY 65%!

“what about the kids?” Marijuana prohibition does not keep kids from using marijuana! Illegal dealers don’t ask for ID! Ask any teen if its easier for them to get marijuana or alcohol. Would you rather have your kid locked up with killers and child molesters, or would you prefer to do your own parenting? Do you really believe an arrest record on a drug charge that will follow them for life and possibly a criminal conviction record on a drug charge that will follow them for life is going to help little Mary and little Johnny be stellar successful citizens?

“what about marijuana causing car wrecks?”
http://peaceandloveism.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=4692
Google MARIJUANA DRIVING STUDY. You'll see 2 common findings:
1. Drivers under the influence of marijuana are VERY SLIGHTLY impaired.
2. Unlike those under the influence of alcohol, marijuana consumers are aware they are SLIGHTLY impaired and they CONSISTENTLY ADEQUATELY COMPENSATE by slowing down a little and being a little more cautious. That doesn’t mean they get in the fast lane on the interstate and drive 15 miles per hour. Marijuana makes you cautious, not crazy! Those Cheech and Chong movies were comedies, NOT documentaries!

http://www.jackherer.com/thebook/chapter-four/ 
"In the 1920s and 30s, Hearst's newspapers DELIBERATELY MANUFACTURED a new threat to America and a new yellow journalism campaign to have hemp outlawed. For example, a story of a car accident in which a marijuana cigarette was found would dominate the headlines for weeks, while alcohol-related car accidents (which outnumbered marijuana-connected accidents by more than 10,000 to 1) made only the back pages. This same theme of marijuana leading to car accidents was burned into the minds of Americans over and over again..." The only marijuana/driving issue that matters is: Does using marijuana cause accidents? The answer is: NO!

Want your freedom back? Legalize marijuana! That will take away Uncle ”Sham’s” most common excuse to trash the Constitution and pretend like the Government is protecting you from a plant that has never killed anyone of any age in all of recorded history anywhere on planet earth!

Marijuana does not cause aggressive behavior. Marijuana does not cause dangerous driving. Marijuana does not cause cancer, brain damage or any serious health problems. Marijuana prohibition does not keep kids away from marijuana, illegal dealers don’t ask for ID. Marijuana is not a “gateway drug”, there is absolutely NOTHING about marijuana that causes people to use other drugs. Marijuana is not addictive. In fact marijuana is one of the safest substances known! Marijuana is SAFER than many foods we consume and give to our kids all the time! Exactly what good is this prohibition doing and who is benefiting from it?

When was the last time you heard of the cops being called to break up a fight at a marijuana party? NEVER! When was the last time you heard about a marijuana consumer beating his wife? NEVER! The cops and the politicians know marijuana is no threat to society but they keep screaming their fear mongering marijuana lies at every opportunity. Did you ever wonder why?

THE LAWS PROHIBITING MARIJUANA ARE NOT A RESULT OF ANY HARM FROM MARIJUANA. THEY ARE THE RESULT OF LIES, GREED and racism. Read the well documented proof of that and a lot more marijuana TRUTH in these two articles: “MARIJUANA AND HEMP THE UNTOLD STORY, Thomas J. Bouril” and “WHY IS MARIJUANA ILLEGAL, Pete Guither”, click the links to those articles on this webpage:
Internet Explorer web browser: http://jsknow.angelfire.com/home  
All Other Browsers: http://jsknow.angelfire.com/index.html

No matter which side of this issue you’re on PLEASE read the two articles linked above. It’s almost certain you’ll learn things about marijuana and marijuana prohibition that you never knew before.

LEGALIZE MARIJUANA AND REGULATE IT LIKE POTATOES, CORN OR ANY OTHER SAFE NATURAL PLANT/CROP! NO NEW TAXES!

Legalize marijuana and stop funding criminals, gangsters, illegal aliens and terrorists with hundreds of Billions in tax free $ every year. “When you fund something you get more of it” (Ron Paul). Does anyone really think we need more criminals, gangsters, illegal aliens and terrorists?

The Constitutional right to freedom of religion, free speech, a free press, to keep and bear arms, to be secure in your person, house, papers and effects against unreasonable search and seizure, to life, liberty and property, to be protected from having your property taken by the government without due process of law and without just compensation, to confront the witnesses against you, to be protected from excessive bail, excessive fines, cruel and unusual punishment, to vote and others have been unjustly denied to tens of millions of Americans in the name of the drug war.

THE DRUG WAR

Like I told my kids"the drug laws are far more dangerous than the DRUGS."

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