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After Killing His Dogs, Police Admit Mayor Calvo Was Probably Innocent

Submitted by smorgan on
The botched drug raid fiasco in Berwyn Heights, MD grows more embarrassing for Prince George's County police everyday. Their theory is now that a deliveryman was planning on intercepting the package:

Prince George's Police Chief Melvin C. High did not apologize to the Calvos or exonerate them completely in the case. However, he said police have discovered five or six other similar deliveries made in recent days to addresses where people inside had no knowledge of the delivery. He said he believed the Calvos were "likely" innocent but that police continue to investigate. [Washington Post]

It bothers me to no end that this whole mess seems to hinge in many people's minds on the ultimate determination of whether or not the Calvos had anything to do with the marijuana. While I agree that the destruction of innocent lives and property is one of the most disturbing consequences of our wildly out-of-control war on drugs, I think Police Chief High (don't laugh, not funny) is missing the point.

His officers shot two black Labradors, one of which was running away. It's just barbaric. A source who attended a memorial service for the dogs learned that the raiding officers didn’t even know the homeowner was the mayor until they began interrogating him. The point isn’t that he deserved special treatment, but rather that police didn’t even conduct a basic investigation of their suspects. They went in blind, and their subsequent violent actions owe much to the ignorance that guided them throughout the process. This type of policing is unacceptable categorically and without regard to one's occupation or even their involvement in drugs.

Worse yet, there's absolutely nothing unique or exceptional about any of it. As this very story unfolded we learned that a Lima, OH officer was acquitted of negligence charges after shooting a baby and killing her unarmed mother in a drug raid. He literally used the excuse that the sound of his fellow officers shooting dogs downstairs startled him, causing him to shoot at a shadow. That shadow turned out to be Tarika Wilson, who he killed while also shooting her baby's finger off.

Horrible drug raid stories have become vastly more common than they ought to be. The patterns are disturbingly familiar, the excuses are disturbingly unpersuasive, and the next similar disaster will occur disturbingly soon. Just watch.

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