No Scenery and a Beard

Or was that a bard?  Bards and scenery go together.

Cheye Calvo, mayor of Berwyn Heights, Maryland (pop. 3,000) <a href=”http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/08/AR2008080802690.html”>Washington Post<a/>

arrived home (his mother-in-law was already at home), picked up the package that was on the front porch and placed it on a table in the his front hall.  His mother-in-law had told the deliveryperson to leave it there.  He goes upstairs to change his clothes for an event and while he’s in his shorts, he hears his mother-in-law scream, and then his front door is broken down, someone shoots his two black labs, comes up his stairs and drags him downstairs in his shorts and socks, handcuffs him and interrogates him and his mother-in-law near the bodies of his dogs.

Apparently, a dog in Arizona had identified the package as containing marijuana, so the Police Chief of Prince George’s County (Melvin C. High) elected to have the 32 lb. package complete its trip to the mayor’s doorstep (it was addressed to his wife).  He then assembled a SWAT team, deliberately did not inform the town constabulary, and had an agent bring the package to the door, where the aforemented mother-in-law told him to leave it.  They then watched the mayor (they did not know he was the mayor, and apparently never thought to find out anything pertinent about the target of their raid) take the package inside.  Then a group of armed men approached the house (were spotted by the mother-in-law) who screamed, which to these armed police-types meant that there would be an armed response from the house.  So they broke down the door (they thought they had a no-knock warrant), ran inside the house, shot the dogs and handcuffed the occupants.

The FBI is reviewing the raid.  High has told Calvo that he and his family have been cleared of any and all charges and expressed regret for the way events transpired, but did not apologize.

The police department has also said that it did not have a ‘no-knock’ warrant.  Sheriff Michael Jackson says he has not seen any evidence of wrongdoing by his department and is upset that Mayor Calvo has asked for and received an FBI review.

‘Jackson also expressed dismay at the civil rights review. “I’ve been here 19 years, and this agency has been in existence since 1696. The Office of the Sheriff of Prince George’s County has never been under a civil rights review or no one has ever called for the Department of Justice to come in,” he said. “There is no reason, there has been no reason, and as long as I’m here there will not be a reason for it.”‘

What has me really curious is that this was a minor story in the Post.  I saw it on CNN, and I think in one other place.

Words really fail me on this one.  An innocent person, going about his lawful business is assaulted in his home, after some utterly deficient police-work, lethal force is used (unjustified doesn’t begin to describe it), and the gentleman in charge sees no evidence of wrongdoing in his department, and won’t even apologize.  To me, the entire country should be just freaking out here, and there’s barely been a whisper.  I am mystified.  Maybe it’s because there was no video.

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One Response to “No Scenery and a Beard”

  1. You should urge your readers to demand that Sheriff Jackson resign!

    This is not the first case where his officers have mistakenly brutalized innocent people and killed their pets.

    In every case, Jackson has defended them. He considers this to be acceptable behavior and no amount of public comment will change his mind.

    Jackson is ambitious. He is planning to run for county executive where he will have the already corrupt and brutal police department to help him extend his reign of terror.

    No citizens or pets will be safe as long as Sheriff Jackson remains in public office. HE MUST GO; and the sooner the better.

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