Mayor Calvo Says Botched Drug Raids Are Commonplace

Radley Balko points out this remark from Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo, which I think ranks among the best commentary we've heard in the press following a botched raid:

"The reality is that this happens all the time in this country and disproportionally in Prince Georges county and most of the people to whom it happens don’t have the community support and the platform to speak out. So I appreciate you paying attention to our condition but I hope you’ll also give attention to those who may not have the same platform and voice that we have." [CNN video via Rawstory]

This was broadcast nationally on CNN, which clearly takes the paramilitary drug raid controversy to a level we haven't seen previously. Unfortunately, the rise of this issue from a frequent topic at drug policy and libertarian blogs to a full-blown national concern has followed the path many of us reluctantly predicted: something horrible had to happen to an appropriate spokesperson.

We knew it was just matter of time, but I wasn't expecting it to come so soon. Maybe I should have. In the short-term, we can look forward to likely reforms in Prince George's County and hopefully even at the state-level in Maryland. But what this means in the long-term is that future incidents carry greater potential to be recognized by the press as part of a disturbing pattern. Too often, botched drug raids generate obligatory local media, while the larger issue goes unaddressed. Bloody fiascos are dismissed as isolated incidents only to be forgotten and eventually repeated.

Let it therefore be understood now and remembered when the time comes that there is nothing isolated or unusual about innocent people and pets being shot during poorly executed drug raids. It happens all the time and this latest controversy should provide an ample imperative for those covering such incidents in the future to connect the appropriate dots.
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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More Police Frenzy in a South Carolina Drug Arrest

An 18-year-old drug suspect was given a Rodney-King-Special in Greenville County, South Carolina on May 15 of this year.  Subsequent to being caught on a dash-cam, Deputy Tollison has been fired and formally charged with assault.

Conditioning cops to believe that all drugs are demons and that drugs must be eliminated at any cost has reacted upon itself.  The full penalty for this mistake is being exacted with interest.

Giordano

Calvo

The night of the support rally he started his statements to the crowd noting on the lack of support around others in the same situation as his family. He also through it in a little on MSNBC but the host was leading to much and didn't really get to elaborate.

From The Top

You're absolutely right about the police being conditioned to behave this way, and it comes from higher up. We need leaders with rational attitudes, and it will take voters to put them in power. Since voters are so easily manipulated by callous, disingenuous politicians, I am not confident in the outcome, and I hope it doesn't take a revolution to bring real change.

Reality Check

My home was invaded in the same manner as Mayor Calvo's. I have proven the police planted evidence, tampered with evidence and I have sent this all to the top officials in the state of Connecticut. Not one person has responded to my letters.

Not only did they not knock they didn't have a search warrant. They shot my 35lb Cocker Spaniel and let her be attacked by a police K9 dog. They assaulted me with a stun grenade that has severally impaired my hearing. But guess what I'm not a public official so no one cares. I'm leaving here shortly to go to federal court in New Haven.

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