Steve G.

If you get an unexpected package in the mail, be prepared to be raided and have your dogs killed by the cops

In Big Brother, Constitutional Rights, Cops Gone Wild, Corruption, Courts and Justice System, Crazy Claims, Crime, Drug War, Fraud, Human Rights Abuses, Law, Law Enforcement, Lies and the lying liars who tell them, Media, People in the news, Police Brutality, Police State, Terrorism on August 8, 2008 at 1:27 pm

A package of marijuana was sent to an unsuspecting mayor’s wife, in a scheme in which drugs are mailed to people who are not in any way involved, then intercepted by those in the smuggling ring.   She hadn’t even seen the package, and it had not even been opened, when a SWAT team burst in without knocking, killed their dogs immediately, and terrorized the mayor, his elderly mother-in-law, and his innocent wife.  The cops refused to show a warrant when asked, and furthermore, no-knock warrants aren’t even legal in the state of Maryland.  Not at all surprisingly, the cops claim they did nothing wrong.

Why did they raid these people at all?  Had they done even a little bit of background, they’d know it was the mayor’s home, and that they could have just knocked on the door and asked for the package, and it would undoubtedly have been turned over without question.

From CNN:

(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.

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.

Meanwhile, Calvo and his wife said members of the community have expressed sympathy and concern about the incident.

At a news conference Thursday, Tomsic tearfully recalled a recent encounter with a neighbor who used to wave at the couple as they walked Payton and Chase.

“She gave me a big hug,” Tomsic said. “She said, ‘If the police shot your dogs dead and did this to you, how can I trust them?’ “

  1. Saw this on TV, gyuess what (not that it means anything) but PG County MD is almost all African American, the cops were all African American, and the Mayor was White. NAACP even came out with a statement saying something like “now you know how it feels” (not that it means anything).

  2. Dear sweet jesus…

    I’m up in the mountains, and my aunt has two black labs. If they knocked down the door and shot them, I probably would get shot for running at them with a baseball bat. I mean…damn.
    Their asking the federal government for help? They will be sadly disappointed. They would be better off fighting them directly, other than congregating with an equally evil enemy. The federal government is useless to average citizens, even a mayor. The best hope for all of us, including them, is fighting locally.

    THEY ARE SHOOTING DOGS FOR NO REASON!!!

    BURSTING INTO HOUSES WITHOUT WARRANTS SHOOTING UP INNOCENT FRIGGIN’ DOGS!

  3. If you read theAgitator ( recommended daily reading for this is issue specifically and libertarians in general, even those with irrational hate of all reason and Cato employees) you would know that the ALWAYS shoot the dogs. And that things like this happen all the time. The coverage in the media and any outrage over this specific case is certainly helped by the occupation ( and yes, race) of the victims. When Baltimore police murdered a woman in a raid, they received awards. When police in Lima, Ohio killed a woman while she was holding her baby, they were celebrated and their great heroism was cheered in the courtroom after their acquital.

    This shit is completely sick and disgusting and the people who cheer it on are scumbag pieces of shit.

  4. Sounds like the judge approved an anticipatory warrant based on a barebones, or false, affidavit. Standard operating procedure for some jurisdictions.

    How did the cops know the package had drugs in it, but did not know the owner of the house was the Mayor? Someone needs to get a copy of the search warrant affidavit and post it before the coverup is completed. The public needs to see what passes for Fourth Amendment protection in 2008. If the officers did refuse to provide a copy of the warrant, they were acting in their individual capacity, and can be sued accordingly.

    And the feds? Expect a finding of no fault released on or about the day of the election.

  5. I guess we are all going to have to call our local police department and check first every time before we go out and pick up a package from UPS, or fed ex or even the post office. Can you imagine the flood of calls all over the US if every citizen called for every package to make sure they were “cleared” to safely go out and get the package?

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