Cheye Calvo Comments on the Passage of SWAT Monitoring Legislation in Maryland

Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo sent us his terrific statement in response to the new SWAT reporting law passed by the Maryland legislature:

"Although the botched raid of my home and killing of our dogs, Payton and Chase, have received considerable attention in the media, it is important to underscore that this bill is about much more than an isolated, high-profile mistake.  It is about a growing and troubling trend where law enforcement agencies are using SWAT teams to perform ordinary police work.  Prince George's County police acknowledges deploying SWAT teams between 400 and 700 a year -- that's twice a day -- and other counties in the state have said that they also deploy their special tactical units hundreds of times a year.  The hearings on these bills have brought to light numerous botched and ill-advised raids in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George's counties that also have had devastating effects on the lives of innocent people and undermined faith in law enforcement.  HB 1267 will shine this light, provide oversight, and demand accountability as a matter of course."

It's about time. No matter how many of these stories I cover, the scope of the problem continues to send shivers down my spine. Calvo's own story is troubling enough before one considers that there are so many more that follow a disturbingly similar plotline.

Calvo also comments on the fact that law-enforcement interests directly opposed his efforts to increase oversight and accountability:

"Although I applaud lawmakers for passing this bill over the objections of law enforcement, I was disappointed that state law enforcement groups decided to oppose this measure rather than embrace it as an opportunity to restore the public trust.  I remain especially concerned with the argument put forward that only law enforcement should police itself and that it is somehow inappropriate for elected leaders to legislate oversight and accountability.  I cannot disagree with this argument more.  As an elected officials, we must take full responsibility for the law enforcement departments that we fund and authorize, and we must hold our law enforcement officials to the highest standards and ideals.  I strongly support law enforcement and believe that so many of our officers are heroes.  However, it is perfectly consistent to support them, provide oversight, and demand accountability -- just as our constituents support, oversee, and demand accountability from us."

Well said. Still, I'm honestly appalled that such arguments even have to be raised. After everything that's happened, how dare they object to basic oversight? When law enforcement directly lobbies against accountability, that is just an affront to the public interest. It's outrageous and although the right result was reached, there remain serious questions to be asked about the agenda of those in law-enforcement who took a leadership role in opposing this bill.

With their hands stained in innocent blood, they arrogantly insist that we avert our eyes. Thanks to Cheye Calvo and Maryland's legislators, we'll do exactly the opposite. 
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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It's all about the money

If you can't justify your federal grant money to your police department then you lose it. So they go on a shopping spree and buy armored personel vehicles, helicopters, body armor, machine guns, etc. etc. And use this equipment just to confiscate a couple of ounces of marijuana on a warrant search for some suspected dealer. It's crazy!!!

a day in the park

how many swat cops are alchoholics? have family or friends that use "illegal" drugs? when it comes to the law and drug prohibition in the usa, hypocrisy is rampant. just look around .

Public Trust

How can we trust law enforcement when they act like American citizens are no better than the dogs they shoot for sport. The only people who trust law enforcement are the ones who are not fully informed about police raids.

It's long past time for the Mainstream Media to wake up and smell the roses!

Lets Review the Legality of All Laws & Gov't Systems!

It is afterall how we got into this illegal marijuana prohibition mess in the first place... allowing unlawful laws to flourish and negate inalienable rights!

Look at every manmade disease... from human bondage... to all the contributing factors leading to cognitive dissonance disorder... and you'll find 2 deviant factors... the blatant disregard of self-evident truths by the proponents of gods and gov'ts... in favor of their own theoretical and philisophical goals... no matter how delusional or fact defying!

I'm Pro Choice On Everything
... and I CHOOSE REALITY!

SWAT Monitoring

I raise black labradors. The Calvo case broke my heart. Labs are excellent examples of loyal FAMILY dogs who can sense when they are no match against a threat, and it did not surprise me at all that one of the Calvo's dogs was fleeing the shocking eruption of police exploding into the home. Labs tend to protect their families through noise and alert intuition, and rarely by physically attacking right out of the gate.

Labs will protect children first, adults last. They understand the difference between a burglar, and a cop. I have never seen an exception to this. Labs are NOT the chosen preferred dog of violent drug dealers, and any cop who does not understand this and does not even recognize dog behavior should not be a cop.

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reply

The arguments and comments from the viewers side and from certain personalities are always come to an issue many times. In this article you have added some of the comments by Calvo and I appreciate the same. Thanks for providing such worthy write up.

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