Doubts About Dog-Slaughtering Drug Raid

Monday, August 4th, 2008

Police are starting to express some doubt about the violent drug raid on Berwyn Heights, Maryland Mayor Cheye Calvo, his wife, and her mother after they were mailed a package containing marijuana:

The raid, conducted jointly with county police narcotics officers, took place after officers saw Calvo bring a package containing more than 30 pounds of marijuana from his front porch into his house. They had been tracking the package since police dogs sniffed out the presence of drugs at a shipping facility in Arizona.

The package was addressed to Trinity Tomsic, Calvo’s wife. But law enforcement sources said last week that they are now investigating the possibility that the mayor and his wife were unwitting recipients and that a deliveryman might have intended to intercept the package as part of a drug smuggling scheme.

The package landed on Calvo’s doorstep after police posing as deliverymen brought it to the door and Calvo’s mother-in-law asked that it be left on the porch. Police recovered the unopened package from the home Tuesday night but made no arrests. Calvo has said he was interrogated for hours while handcuffed and surrounded by the bloody bodies of his dogs.

So far there have been no arrests, and the police seem to be backing down from the idea that the mayor and his wife are drug dealers.  If it’s true that they aren’t, I’m sure we’ll soon hear lots of apologies to the mayor for not being more careful and thorough, given his esteemed position.

The real question is whether there will be any discussion over the appropriateness of sending a SWAT team into any private home, handcuffing the occupants at gunpoint, and slaughtering the family pets—all over the mere receipt of a mailed package of weed.   I doubt it.

Even if hizzoner turns out to be guilty, it’s always worth contextualizing these cases:  We’ve reached the point where it’s commonplace for the government to wage violent, confrontational invasions of private homes over the suspicion of possession of the dried leaves of a plant.

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34 Responses to “Doubts About Dog-Slaughtering Drug Raid”

  1. #1 |  B | 

    Clearly, the only rational response to this is to start mailing weed to every politician in America.

  2. #2 |  La Rana | 

    Very well said.

  3. #3 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Maybe PETA will find out about this and lobby for a law that forces cops to take precautions to protect pets when they conduct storm trooper style raids that terrorize families, traumatize children, and destroy property. I mean there is such a thing as going too far, you know…

  4. #4 |  Dave Krueger | 

    #1 B

    Clearly, the only rational response to this is to start mailing weed to every politician in America.

    Finally, an incentive to run for office that appeals even to the likes of…. me.

  5. #5 |  MassHole | 

    But but but, they’re EVIL dried leaves!!!

  6. #6 |  Rick Caldwell | 

    Seems to me the time for doubts is before they enact violence against an innocent citizen.

  7. #7 |  Lucy | 

    “We’ve reached the point where it’s commonplace for the government to wage violent, confrontational invasions of private homes over the suspicion of possession of the dried leaves of a plant.”

    That says it all and says it so well. May I quote you on that?

  8. #8 |  Rick Caldwell | 

    “A spokesman for the sheriff’s office has said that the department regretted the shooting of the dogs but that deputies felt threatened by them. The spokesman did not return a call for comment yesterday.”

    Zero points for originality. I’d like to know specifically how they felt threatened by the dog that was running away.

  9. #9 |  Ragnar Danneskjöld | 

    Lucky he’s the mayor. If he was just regular people he’d really be fucked. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8z7NC5sgik

  10. #10 |  xyz123 | 

    …and, as we learned in 1992 and 1993, government will wage violent and confrontational invasions of private homes – and cheerfully kill as many of the minor residents thereof as they can – over the suspicion of possession of shortened shotguns and/or large quantities of ammunition.

    this year, we learned they’ll do that over suspicions of ‘odd religions behaving in unauthorized manners’.

    lastly, i note where the laid-back, tolerant, easygoing liberal democrats who run san francisco are debating $1000 fines for “inappropriate garbage sorting”. fines are how it *starts*, gang.

    tune in in 15 years for sad little stories of murderous raids against garbage “kingpins”, and cigarette vending “druglords”, and fast-food “crime bosses”.

  11. #11 |  Two--Four | 

    [...] only rational response to this is to start mailing weed to every politician in America.”(A comment here at Balko’s) Aug 04, 08 | 4:44 pm AxeBitesVarious guitars I see floating by, mostly Gibson and [...]

  12. #12 |  Cappy | 

    As a former animal control officer, I will say that cops are entirely too trigger happy when it comes to dogs.

    While on the job I’ve shot and killed three dogs in the five years that I worked the position.

    1. Stray aggressive chow mix that had just bitten two people and was still roaming the neighborhood. Found the litter of puppies later on.

    2. An aggressive pit bull that escaped from the shelter into my jurisdiction; the dog had killed another dog then attacked the ACO who went to pick it up.

    3. A bona fide stray 100+ pound shepherd mix that was killing and eating a residents cats. Tranquilizing was out of the question due to the dog always being near a four lane highway and the dog was trap wary.

    There is no instantaneous put-the-dog-to-sleep tranquilizer that can be injected into the dog via a gun. Common drugs are ketamine, acepromazine and xylazine. None are instant sleep. Takes a while, specially if the dog is already hyped up.

    I’ve faced down more aggressive dogs and packs of dogs than I care too count and have never been bitten by a one. The dog’s that have bitten (which have been quite a few) were usually due to my own risk taking and it was always one on one and half the time it was misinterpretation of body language.

    Most dogs are not inherently aggressive, but merely protecting their territory and you have to be able to read the body language.

    I faced down a pack of 7 dogs with a Pit/St. Bernard mix as the alpha. Targeted him, put a well placed asp strike to the head, he turned, ran and the rest of the pack followed.

    Got caught in the midst of two aggressive Great Danes with only a catch-pole for protection (pepper spray tends to just piss off dogs). The dogs charged me, I charged them, they turned tail and ran and literally crawled back through the hole in the fence from which they originally escaped.

    One can face down most dogs. The experts say never look a strange dog in the eyes and to act like a tree. I say bullshit. Look that dog straight in the eye and show him who’s the dominant muddyfugger in the world. Surely ain’t the dog.

    T’is all about reading the body language.

    Cops don’t do that.

    They just prefer to shoot.

  13. #13 |  Against Stupidity | 

    Cappy’s right. All police officers should have training in canine behavior. Especially those that conduct raids. Shooting a dog should be the last resort and not SOP.

  14. #14 |  Sam | 

    Kudos to Cappy. I carried mail for three years and learned some similar things. Never spray the dog, they don’t respect you for it and will come after you as soon as they rub their eyes in some grass. I’m not a martial arts master, but I’ve never run across a dog I couldn’t grab by the ear and pin, all without being covered in breeching armor.

    The police have always been a good place to hide trigger-happy, over-aggressive apes. The only thing that’s changed is that now they’re getting official sanction to kill things.

  15. #15 |  Bot | 

    More insight in the drug warrior’s mentality.

  16. #16 |  Andy Craig | 

    I can’t imagine why a dog might react aggressively to violent intruders breaking into its home and attacking its owners. Obviously the normal reaction would be to sit and watch placidly.

  17. #17 |  Danno49 | 

    Bot:

    That article is from Hot Naked Chicks & World Report. It shouldn’t be taken too seriously.

  18. #18 |  Bot | 

    Danno –

    I think the “pro-legalization” side in the opinion panel won by a landslide. Brown is simply trotting out decade old arguments. Basically, its for the “children.”

  19. #19 |  Frank | 

    #1

    Perhaps this was the start of something wonderful.

    #3

    PETA considers keeping a pet slavery. Don’t think they’ll be any help.

  20. #20 |  Frank | 

    Picture of typical Prince George’s County Police Officer at this link:

    http://store.schlockmercenary.com/PhotoGallery.asp?ProductCode=P%2DR37

  21. #21 |  Andrew Williams | 

    “So far there have been no arrests, and the police seem to be backing down from the idea that the mayor and his wife are drug dealers. If it’s true that they aren’t, I’m sure we’ll soon hear lots of apologies to the mayor for not being more careful and thorough, given his esteemed position.”

    Don’t you believe it. Instead, the mayor will apologize for being there to receive the package when it arrived, since that will clearly mean that he was expecting it. Cheney v. Really Old Lawyer (ROL) will be cited as precedent.

  22. #22 |  CSI | 

    A cop puts on his SWAT uniform, gets all hyped up – he’s just gotta shoot something. Shooting people requires too much paperwork afterwards. Therefore they shoot the dog. Even if the dog’s hiding somewhere they’ll track it down and shoot it. Because its fun.

  23. #23 |  MikeT | 

    B’s suggestion has some merit. It’s dirty, but the truth is that if random quantities of drugs started showing up in prominent people’s mailboxes on a regular basis, it would create the sort of hysteria needed to draw wrathful attention on the drug warriors.

  24. #24 |  Doubts about dog slaughtering drug raid, follow up | 

    [...] http://www.theagitator.com/2008/08/04/doubts-about-dog-slaughtering-drug-raid/ [...]

  25. #25 |  Henry Bowman | 

    To #13, “Against Stupidity”:

    The cops very much want to kill the dogs — training will not help. It’s their way of telling the occupants that they can do whatever they want to with you. After all, these scaredy-cats just have to say “I was afraid” in order to get away with virtually anything, even 1st-degree murder.

  26. #26 |  Andrew Williams | 

    “Oh Mama, I’m in fear for my life from the law and I’m all alone.”

  27. #27 |  Edintally | 

    “Hangman is coming down from the gallows
    And I don’t have very long.”

    “The jig is up, the news is out, they’ve finally found me
    The renegade who had it made, retrieved for a bounty
    Never more to go astray
    This will be the end today of the wanted man”

    Fedex is the weapon. Confusion the strategy.

  28. #28 |  Wayne | 

    Backing down from their story that the mayor and his wife were drug dealers. I guess the next line no one said out loud was, “Next time we’ll send you an e-mail with child porn in it, then we’ll come and confiscate your computer on suspicion of possession of child porn.” Just try to get out of that one.

  29. #29 |  _Jon | 

    I just finished dinner with some older guys, some of whom studied a lot of history. One of them said this; “That’s exactly what Hitler’s Brown Shirts used to do.” He went on to explain that even though it might not be their intent, the effect of this incident is a message to all mayors in all cities; “This can happen to your family too”.

    This “War on Drugs” (aka “Prohibition”) has turned the police force into a government form of the mob.

  30. #30 |  MALACHI CONSTANT | 

    Guess tht’s why we still call them PIGS!

  31. #31 |  Alex | 

    Its unfortunte that the whole darn country is and has been a police state. The fourth amendment? What the heck is that? We havent any rights anymore. There isnt anything to stop the police from breaking down your door and accussing you of anything. What can we do? Not much!

  32. #32 |  You Want to Kill My Dogs While You’re Here? « Olde Frothingblog | 

    [...] assault. Local law enforcement is upset they were not notified first, and apparently, the raid has turned out to be a huge mistake. The mayor’s house wasn’t the intended recipient of the drug package, and the SWAT team [...]

  33. #33 |  You Want to Kill My Dogs While You’re Here? - In The Agora | 

    [...] assault. Local law enforcement is upset they were not notified first, and apparently, the raid has turned out to be a huge mistake. The mayor’s house wasn’t the intended recipient of the drug package, and the SWAT team [...]

  34. #34 |  Holt | 

    I, as well, have a very pit-bull who may be the most adoring animal I’ve ever owned. Soon, a brand new dog breed will appear together for the media to blast, because they have completed rotties and dobies in previous many years. Unfortunate that media sensationalism breeds a lot inaccurate information.

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