Detective Defends Cheye Calvo Raid in National Review

Monday, October 27th, 2008

Last month, National Review ran a short blurb that was critical of the July raid on Berwyn Heights, Maryland Mayor Cheye Calvo by a Prince George’s County, Maryland SWAT team (article is subscription-only).

To refresh your memory, the police raided Calvo after intercepting a package en route to Calvo’s home that contained marijuana.  They blew open Calvo’s door, shot and killed both of of Calvo’s black labs (one as it was running away), then handcuffed and interrogated Calvo and his mother-in-law at gunpoint for hours.

Calvo was innocent.  The package was never intended for him.  It was part of a drug smuggling scheme, and was meant to be intercepted by a dealer working at the delivery company.  The Prince George’s County police made no effort to determine who lived in Calvo’s home, did no surveillance, and didn’t bother to notify the Berwyn Heights police chief before conducting the raid.  They have since apologized to Calvo for wrongly raiding his home, but have defended the investigation and the aggressive tactics, including the slaughter of his dogs.

After National Review’s short blurb denouncing the raid and the overuse of SWAT tactics in general, Milwaukee police detective and former SWAT officer Kent Corbett wrote a jaw-dropping letter to the editor, in which he not only defends what happened to Calvo, he mocks Calvo and his family with scare quotes.  The letter is also subscription-only, so there’s no link.  But here’s the copy:

As a former S.W.A.T. team member and a current homicide detective with the Milwaukee police department, I must take issue with the tone of a paragraph in “The Week” (September 1). The piece addresses the Cheye Calvo incident, in which police raided a Maryland mayor’s home looking for drugs, killed his dogs, and restrained him and his mother-in-law. It turned out the man was innocent.

I have personally been involved in the execution of no-knock search warrants, the killing of dogs during those executions, and the investigations of numerous drug-related homicides and officer-involved shootings. Yes, no-knock warrants are issued to avoid the destruction of evidence such as drugs, but they are also issued to protect the officers executing those warrants. In addition, each warrant requires a judge’s authorization, and obviously the available evidence satisfied the judge in this case.

Sorry if Calvo and his mother-in-law were “restrained” for “almost two hours.” Would you rather have them be comfortable for those two hours, and risk officers’ lives and safety? Calvo should be able to understand what the officers did and why they did it.

Municipal police departments do fight a war on the streets of this country daily. This incident should not be considered overkill (to take a word from Reason’s Radley Balko), but sound police tactics. As soon as some police administrator starts to second-guess the training and experience of the officers charged with doing these types of investigations, someone will get hurt or killed. Drug investigations are inherently dangerous, and so is the Monday-morning quarterbacking you are doing.

Kent Corbett
Milwaukee, Wis.

National Review’s editors wrote a polite, well-argued response to Corbett.

I’m going to be less polite, because to use Corbett’s own language, I take strong issue with his tone.  His attitude is appalling, and unfortunately, not uncommon.  The bumbling, violent raid on Calvo’s home is inexcusable.  I know nothing about Corbett, but his public defense of the raid on Calvo’s home ought to call into serious question his judgment as a police officer.  If Cheye Calvo had exercised his Second Amendment right to have a gun in his home for self-defense last July, for example, he’d almost certainly be dead today.  A cop or two might be dead, too.  That simply isn’t an acceptable outcome—not for a nonviolent crime like marijuana distribution, and certainly not when the suspect turns out to be innocent.

Prince George’s PD’s lack of investigation into who lived at Calvo’s home, their rush to use the maximum amount of force possible, one officer’s inexplicable decision to use her cell phone to make a veterinary appointment for her own dogs while Calvo and his mother-in-law sat handcuffed, staring at the carcasses of his two labs—for Corbett, these are all "sound police tactics."  How dare we Monday-morning quarterback.  In Corbett’s mind, Calvo ought to "understand," and I guess we all ought to understand, even when these incidents happen again, and again, and again.

To people like Corbett and the politicians whose policies he enforces, drug prohibition is war.  We ought to expect, tolerate, and even defend the occasional collateral damage—be it what happened to Calvo, or what happened to, say, Katherine Johnston or Isaac Singletary.  I mean, if we start getting all upset about what happened to a white, upper-middle class family with some political heft like the Calvos, we might soon have to actually start caring when this kind of thing happens low-income black people, too.  And we certainly can’t have that.  Because, as I’m sure Corbett knows, it happens far more often to them.

So let’s all take Corbett’s advice.  Should the police mistakenly blow open your door, kill your pets, and detain you for hours at gunpoint, just deal with it.  In fact, be grateful.  We’re in a war, after all.  It’s all about preventing people from getting high, at any cost.  If you lose a couple of pets, or possibly a friend or relative, buck up.  Sure, Calvo and his family were subjected to needless terror and violence.  Sure, they could easily have been killed.  But remember:  Because of the Prince George’s County Police Department’s "sound police tactics," when all was said and done, there was 30 pounds less marijuana in southern Maryland than there would have been otherwise.  And no cops were injured.  So it’s a net win.

I don’t expect many police officers to agree with me on the appropriateness of SWAT tactics in general (though many do).  But this is a bit much.  Det. Corbett can look at the Calvo raid and not only conclude that the end result was acceptable, but also that Calvo has no legitimate complaint about what happened to him.  The implication is that we shouldn’t bother to worry about this kind of thing.  That we should all just accept the possibility that what happened to Calvo could happen to any of us.  Because what’s most important is officer safety, and winning the war on drugs.

Corbett’s letter isn’t just wrong, it’s chilling.

MORE: Someone posted what may have been Corbett’s home address in the comments section, with an invitation for others to vandalize his house. I deleted it. Anyone posting a similar comment will be banned. Have more class than Corbett does, gang.

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90 Responses to “Detective Defends Cheye Calvo Raid in National Review

  1. #1 |  supercat | 

    Our criminal injustice system has degenerated to a point much worse than in many third world countries.

    So you’re saying that our Constitutional Republic has been largely replaced by totalitarian anarchy. That is true. That does not mean, however, that we shouldn’t call things what they are.

  2. #2 |  Nick T | 

    T-Bone.

    Please don’t flippantly insult public defenders. With few exceptions, they are the best crimnal defense attorneys in just about every court they are found. (That is, lawyers employed full time by the government to defend the accused, not necessarily private attorneys who bill the state for their work.)

  3. #3 |  John Jenkins | 

    Normally, I don’t feed trolls (or the ill-informed), but what the hell, I am procrastinating tonight.

    @sueprcat:

    “The Constitution is the supreme Law of the Land. Any rules which would allow legitimate government actions in violation to the Constitution would be superior to the Constitution. Were such rules to exist, that would imply that the Constitution was not supreme. Since the Constitution is supreme, such rules therefore cannot exist.”

    By hypothesis, any search or seizure pursuant to a valid warrant is reasonable. Nothing in the Fourth Amendment suggests that only searches and seizures pursuant to a valid warrant are permitted. In fact, the separation of the reasonableness requirement from the warrant requirements suggests strongly the requirements are not co-extensive. There is also, you will no doubt note, no remedy provided in the text of the Fourth Amendment.

    Your belief that any “unreasonable” search is “illegitimate” is contingent on a court-crafted remedy that has no source in the Constitution. There are just as many arguments in favor of tort-based relief for those whose rights are violated as there is for the exclusionary remedy. Courts settled on the one that allowed the criminal trial judge the most leeway in enforcement. Thus, your argument from illegitimacy is fundamentally flawed, since it hinges on a (your) determination of what is “reasonable,” and no meaningful rule emerges from the noise (unless you argue that unreasonable = illegitimate, but then you haven’t gotten anywhere).

    “When cops conduct a no-knock raid, what is their intention with regard to any occupants? If the cops could convince a jury that their intention was to flee if any occupants noticed them, then a burglary charge would be appropriate. If, however, the cops subdue the occupants while the cops ransack the place, then the crime is robbery.”

    No. The crime of burglary is complete when you enter the dwelling with the intent to commit a crime therein. If you also commit a robbery while therein, then you may also be charged with robbery. Burglary does not merge with robbery or larceny at common law, and they are separate crimes by statute virtually everywhere. See, e.g., 21 Okla. Stat. §§ 791, 1421 & 1435.

    @ T-bone:

    “Supercat, perjury is for regular people not cops. When a defense lawyer proves a cop lied to get a warrant, or, under oath,(NEVER will happen if the accused is represented by a public pretender)”

    Be wary in your use of the word “never.” Be especially wary when insulting public defenders in the presence of people who actually know what they are talking about. That would be people not you. Public defenders are among the most experienced criminal defense litigators anywhere and are constantly sought after by private criminal defense lawyers because they know how to do a job that few people are willing to do, mostly out of the desire to protect people from the heavy hand of the state. Every single one of them could leave the PD’s office he or she is currently in and get a job that pays a lot better in a private litigation firm almost instantly. They stay because they believe in what they do, and your off-hand, asinine remark betrays more about your unreasoned, ill-considered beliefs than it does any of them.

  4. #4 |  TBoneJones | 

    Jenkins and Nick, with nearly a decade working in the criminal justice system I couldn’t possible count the times I’ve seen public defenders help the system railroad victims of stacked charges (usually minor drug ones) into guilty pleas. Their forte, if they have one, is making deals. I’ve sat right there and watched them talk innocent people into pleading guilty to reduced charges on cases I believe any first year law student with an IQ larger than their shoe size could have successfully defended. (you could be looking at 5 years! But It wasn’t mine and the cops are lying etc)

    On one case I felt so bad for the kid I “handed” the public defender documents that showed the states two witnesses (one a cop and one another person in a position of trust and authority)
    had already perjured themselves in another hearing on the matter. As well I informed him where to get a fax from one DA to the prosecuting ADA informing him of the documents and that the witnesses weren’t credible. (short walk down the hall) The PD started shaking, was noticeably upset, and said “thank you but we already have a deal worked out here and don’t need your help.” I had to stand up, risk contempt, and shout to the judge what was going on. They recessed for a couple minutes, came back in, and dismissed the case. (They LOVE me down there :)

    The PD was FURIOUS. He said “you know that kid was guilty what the hells wrong with you.” I said he probably wouldn’t believe this but GOOD lawyers get guilty people off all the time because of cops lying. To me, lying cops and prosecutors who know they’re lying, and public pretenders who do too but still won’t take it to trial, are a way bigger threat to OUR freedom than some kid with some pot scraps in his car. (who although would have done no jail time under the PDS “deal” would have had a conviction on file. FOREVER)

    To their credit in San Diego the PD’s office did ALMOST get a bad cop database online. If it weren’t for the Judges and Police officers unions fighting it tooth and nail juries would have been able to be informed just how many times the officer on the stand’s perjuring himself (whether he had been charged with it or not) had caused cases to be dismissed, as well as the officers sacred disciplinary record.

    I do think many of the people who go to work for the public defenders office do so with the best intentions. Those change if they stay there long enough to see what kind of BS goes down.
    Not sure if its quotas or what but every now and then they do take stuff to trial and have an OK success rate when they do.

    Wasn’t that cool, I could defend my position without any name calling.

  5. #5 |  Mark Williams | 

    @John Jenkins –

    Impressive critique of my post. It would have been more effective had you refuted any of my assertions. Perhaps there was another reason for President Clinton replacing Lee Brown with Gen. Barry McCaffrey as Drug Czar because Lee Brown focused on treatment rather than enforcement. You seem to know the political consequences of being “soft on crime” much better than I do.

    As to the personality traits that are common to many people in law enforcement, perhaps you are correct. It is possible that they are motivated by the desire to create peace and harmony within their community. It’s possible that they are independent thinkers whose only wish is to better humankind.

    It is also possible that you shoot your mouth off without command of the facts. No matter John Jenkins; I’ve got a hunch that facts sit side by side with your personal beliefs and never the two shall meet.

  6. #6 |  John Jenkins | 

    @ T-Bone:

    “Wasn’t that cool, I could defend my position without any name calling.”

    Except every person who ever did what is a really hard job well, you know, the ones you called “public pretenders.” Clever.

    @ Mark Williams: Do you think there might be a large federal bureaucracy and huge state bureaucracies that support the drug war for largely self-interested reasons? Follow the money. Things like “soft on crime” fit narratives, but they don’t pay bills. When you follow the money, you find that the people advocating for the drug war (police unions, D.O. unions, etc.) often have a large incentive in continuing the drug war, and on a standard public choice model, they win, so the person who advocates a “treatment model” gets kicked out for bucking the system and replaced with someone who advocates a “punishment model” for dealing with drugs.

    So, your theory matches the narrative. I think my theory is supported by public choice scholarship.

    (BTW, I can’t find Altemeyer’s C.V., on the web, just the book link you provided. Do you know where to find it?)

  7. #7 |  John Jenkins | 

    @ Mark Williams, ctd.: So, sure, might someone say, don’t support my opponent because he is soft on crime? Absolutely. Might he even win that way? Oh yes. But is that the real reason the ENORMOUS drug war apparatus continues? I don’t think so.

  8. #8 |  Oldsmoblogger | 

    He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

    He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

    He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
    For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

    For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

    For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
    For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

    The train of abuses and usurpations is getting longer by the day.

    III

  9. #9 |  Cynical In CA | 

    “If Cheye Calvo had exercised his Second Amendment right to have a gun in his home for self-defense …”

    This is Con Law 101-type shit. The Bill of Rights is a limit (in theory, not practice) on government power, not a list of rights of individuals.

    Calvo has a natural right of self-defense (if he is willing to fight for it, with the possible cost of his life), which includes having whatever weapon he chooses at his disposal.

    On a related subject, anyone who VOTES has no right to complain about the SWAT officer Kent Corbett’s opinion. Voters support Kent Corbett.

    If no one voted, the overt violence of the system would lie naked for all to see. Then the rebuilding on a firm foundation of individual sovereignty could begin.

  10. #10 |  Paul Kersey | 

    Corbett’s defense of the PG police is like Joseph Goebbels defending a mix of the Keystone Cops and the Gestapo.

  11. #11 |  Puzzled | 

    I still can’t figure out why the Federal Government is allowed to pursue a blatantly illegal and unConstitutional War on Drugs. Last time I checked they had no auhtority granted over drugs, just like alcohol. At least with Prohibition they went through the motions required by the Constitution. Unfortunately we seem to have lost our spines in this country and I won’t hold my breath for another tea party.

  12. #12 |  Mark | 

    This raid on Calvos home was inexcusable and worrisome. So to is the attitude displayed by the Prince Georce County Sheriff Dept. as well as the write in by officer Corbett. It is my undertanding that Calvos mother in law saw the thugs snooping u to the house with guns drawn. It is REALLY too bad that Calvo did not have a .30 rifle ready when they came through the front door.
    The attitude of the police departments will not change. The excuse of “for the officers safety” is the excuse for more and more murder of civilians and their property (labs in this case. What were the thugs afraid of, being beaten to death with a wagging tail!). It seems to me that the officers are not really in danger here. The rest of us are. These actions, and the official response, make a mockery of whatever system is in place and put all civilians in danger.
    Were I to sit on a jury in a court case where Mr. CAlvo were charged with dealing with this problem on a one on one basis with the officers involved I would find Mr. CAlvo not guilty

  13. #13 |  Frank | 

    To submit a “tip” to the MPD about this sorry excuse for an officer:

    http://www.milwaukee.gov/mytip

  14. #14 |  Nick T | 

    TBone,

    You gave one glaring example of a problem, and a generalization of a few more anecdotes to support your position that a certain thing would “never” happen. Forgive me if i don’t follow.

    If you want to say some public defenders are really bad at what they do, I certainly won’t argue. But you were the one making the broad, all-including statements.

    However I do think it’s worth distinguishing between private attorneys who contract with the state to represent poor people accused of crimes and attorneys who are employed full-time by a government public defender agency. The latter being typically of superior quality, and being true “public defenders.”

  15. #15 |  Red Green | 

    To Mayor Calvo…(I know your out there), just ignore the idiot,sue the swatpricks anyway. The mind of a swatman (tyrannous, idiot)will never be understood by those who favor liberty. And ,no, the swatzis did not have a valid “no knock warrant”…see ya in court.

  16. #16 |  Steve | 

    As a 28 year veteran of one of the biggest Police Deparments in this nation I can tell you that I was appalled at which happened during this raid and even further appalled by the letter Mr. Corbett. Thos so called officers (and I hate to use that term to describe those nitwits) should be ashamed of themselves and at least fired from the so called police department.

    I have executed HUNDREDS of warrants in my time and can tell you that some of the things that those officers did NOT do are SOP where I work. Those that took part in the debacle at the mayors house give the rest of us a bad name and I sincerly hope they are banashed from L/E anywhere. I, for the life of me, do not understand how Mr. Corbett or anybody else can defend those so called officers.

  17. #17 |  Steve | 

    Sorry about some of the grammatical errors above. My keyboard isn’t functioning properly this morning.

  18. #18 |  TBoneJones | 

    Not sure where you’re from Nick but it’s OBVIOUSLY not San Diego.
    Here, on minor drug charges anyway, the accused usually meets his public defender on the way into the courtroom. The PD pulls their file out of a 3 foot stack and spends 2 to 4 minutes bullywagging them into taking a deal, guilty or not, their only fact coming from police reports. They sound like robots saying the same BS to nearly every person they meet with. THEN, they go to lunch with the DA’s. There’s either guidelines on how many cases they’re allowed to take to trial (VERY small percentage) or they get brownie points for coercing people into taking deals.

  19. #19 |  Mack | 

    The war on drugs is a war of oppression against the American people. I no longer support it nor do I support those that perpetrate it.
    Officer safety is the red herring that allows police to do whatever they want and avoid accountability.

  20. #20 |  arthur | 

    These people might have been killed by police stupidity. Why does every little podunk department think they have to have a swat team?

  21. #21 |  the friendly grizzly | 

    #66 Steve: sorry, my friend. Those officers would be heroes to most police departments. I don’t know where you serve and to put not too fine a point on it, I find it hard to believe that ANY police department in this country still follows Constitutional requirements, or that does not think of the non-police population as fodder to build stats for next year’s budget.

    Perhaps in very small towns where everyone knows one another a policeman would think twice about hassling the peasants, but only because the peasants know where he lives. Those of us in bigger places are just plain out of luck and at the mercy of a privileged someone who had a fight with the wife that morning.

  22. #22 |  supercat | 

    @John Jenkins: By hypothesis, any search or seizure pursuant to a valid warrant is reasonable. Nothing in the Fourth Amendment suggests that only searches and seizures pursuant to a valid warrant are permitted.

    Not all searches via warrant are reasonable, nor is every entry without a warrant unreasonable. If a cop sees a wheelchair-bound person screaming at the window of a burning building and breaks into the building so as to rescue the person, ignoring the issue of whether such behavior would be wise, such behavior should not be forbidden on a Fourth-Amendment basis. Conversely, if a cop has a warrant to search for a stolen car and the cop ransacks all sorts of cabinets and containers which are obviously too small to hold a car, that would be unreasonable. If warrants were not generally considered a precondition for “reasonable” searches, why would the Fourth Amendment mention them at all?

    Your belief that any “unreasonable” search is “illegitimate” is contingent on a court-crafted remedy that has no source in the Constitution.

    The Constitution makes clear that an unreasonable search or seizure is illegitimate. How could it possibly be more specific? The Constitution does not specify what the remedy should be when government officials act illegitimately, but the first remedy would be to recognize that they cannot be considered to be acting legitimately on behalf of the government.

    If you also commit a robbery while therein, then you may also be charged with robbery.

    Fine. Charge the cops with burglary as well as robbery and/or murder.

  23. #23 |  Bob Mc | 

    Of course Officer Safety comes first!
    That’s why when the carnage broke out at Columbine HS, the police waited outside for hours before going in to see what happened.

    Ask any cop what the most important part of their job is- to a man they will say “getting home safely to my family”

    People’s rights, truth, justice, other people going home to THEIR families -all take a back seat to the primary mission of police everywhere- “Officer Safety”.

  24. #24 |  Santee | 

    How many will have to die, for, at the most a few ounces of grass, for the monday back quarterbacking to begin and stop this shit?? The no knock raid is unconstitutional bull crap dreamed up by some damn demented fiend in a dark room somewhere, and then approved by senior officials and allowed by the public. When will the public say, enough is enough?

    The war on drugs has already been lost, and now we are pouring billions down a rat hole that only gets people killed. It is time to stop the insanity and to legalize drugs and then regulate them. This would put many criminals out of business and end much of the gang warfare in our inner cities. STOP THE WAR ON DRUGS!!

  25. #25 |  TBoneJones | 

    @Suprecat you said the Constitution does not specify what the remedy should be when government officials act illegitimately”

    Uhhh if you went to public schools sometimes in the last 20 years you probably didn’t learn this but that’s primary reason we have a 2nd amendment. The fear that older vets and the handful of patriots left will eventually get fed up with the bastardization of OUR Constitution and trampling of our rights is exactly why local police and sheriff’s departments have been given literally hundreds of millions of dollars worth of military type armaments by the Bush Administration (under the guise of some kind of some imaginary domestic war on terror) and the restrictions against the military being used against private citizens were lifted.

    Hopefully it is clear to everyone that yet BIGGER change is coming to the American Dream in the not too distant future. That there hasn’t been a military coup should make it just as clear Generals don’t take their oath to defend OUR Constitution against DOMESTIC enemies seriously anymore. Welcome to the world of EuroSocialism aka The New World Order. Steer your children towards government jobs.

  26. #26 |  Andrew Williams | 

    This is the comment I sent to the MPO’s tip line (and a tip of the hat to Frank for suggesting it):

    As demonstrated by his recent letter to the National Review, Officer Kent Corbett is more interested in protecting himself than in following proper police procedure. He has also demonstrated contempt for the rights of innocent civilians. This is an officer who either needs to be retrained or fired outright.

  27. #27 |  Andrew Williams | 

    A quote from Peter Moskos’ book, Cop in the Hood, echoes Corbett’s sentiments:

    “My primary goal, like most police officers, was to return home safely every day.”

  28. #28 |  Michael Shirley | 

    Whatever the merits of the case are, we know all we need to know about Milwaukee PD from Det. Corbett’s letter.

    Somebody cleared his background check. Somebody passed him on his written and oral boards. Somebody passed him at the Academy. A Field Training Officer passed him after his probationary period. He was accepted into the SWAT team and later moved up as a plain clothes police officer and eventually promoted to Detective.

    Police departments are examples of what’s known as a self selecting elite. And his behavior reflects acceptable behavior in his department. His letter makes this quite clear.

    It also tells me that Milwaukee PD is a sewer, and frankly I wouldn’t trust any of them at this stage with blunt objects, let alone sharp ones. Also, if I were on a jury on a case where a cop was killed breaking into the wrong house, I’d vote to acquit the shooter, because if I were served by a police department like that one, I’d have an articulable fear for my life too.

  29. #29 |  Red Green | 

    Live in “the sewer”,think like the sewer,are the sewer. What type of ammendment takes away all the other ammendments? Could it be the (((supreme-scalia))) opinion/ammendment ,in regards of a certain “new professionalism”? In other words, the “WHATEVER YA GOTTA DO”ammendment… The 4th is in plain english. Are the peoples rights secure (I don’t feel secure)? Are warranted searches supported by “oath or affirmation” (they lie and they’re wrong alot)? Big money makes for tyrannies aplenty (like seizures)… Sounds like the 4th is gone to me…shame.

  30. #30 |  albatross | 

    Maybe a good answer for these is to put a price on them. For example, establish a law that says that if a no-knock warrant is served on the wrong address, the police department automatically owes the residents, say, $100K, no questions asked, and that if anyone dies in such a raid, whoever is formally in charge of the raid automatically loses his job and pension.

    The no-knock warrants can then continue to be used (bad, but probably broadly accepted by the public), but raiding the wrong address/people will suddenly become much more rare, just because police departments don’t like losing tons of money.

  31. #31 |  The Agitator » Blog Archive » Do America’s Inner Cities Need a “Surge?” | 

    […] Bad cops are in the minority, but good cops cover for them. And far too many officers subscribe to a soldier’s mentality, and take too literally the idea that theyr’e fighting a “war” on drugs or crime. […]

  32. #32 |  Unlikely Convergence « Upturned Earth | 

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  34. #34 |  The Agitator » Blog Archive » Milwaukee Police Chief Says to Hell With the Rule of Law | 

    […] wonder the city’s force includes cops like Det. Kent Corbett, who actually wrote a letter to the editor of National Review in defense of the Maryland raid on […]

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  36. #36 |  Mrs. C | 

    “In addition, each warrant requires a judge’s authorization, and obviously the available evidence satisfied the judge in this case.”

    It is my experience that those who sign off on these warrants do so almost automatically…and running the type of procedure to be used…past the superior officer for his ok…is also a rote drill. Afterall, the input of those who are assumed to be “competent” detectives or officers is enough for those who do not invest much of themselves in what is about to take place. Too much is taken for granted…hence “overkill” coupled with “botched raids” in the most unnecessary of circumstances.

    ”This incident should not be considered overkill (to take a word from Reason’s Radley Balko), but sound police tactics. As soon as some police administrator starts to second-guess the training and experience of the officers charged with doing these types of investigations, someone will get hurt or killed. Drug investigations are inherently dangerous, and so is the Monday-morning quarterbacking you are doing.”

    Exactly the mentality that makes my blood boil…in this case “drug” investigations are inherently dangerous…in our case it was a “wagering on sports” investigation…and someone…a very precious someone…my son…DID get unjustly shot and killed…by one of their non-second guessed “experienced” SWAT officers.

    How dare he (Corbett) think to defend his position…in circumstances like Mr. Calvo’s…by stating that these officers…and their training and experience…are sound police tactics. If they had done even a half-baked background check…all of what happened could have been avoided…but of course that would mean even if they did a check…they would have to get it right…and then give some credence to what they learned. Again…my experience has been “that when SWAT is sent out…they disregard background info and risk assessments…afterall they are SWAT and the rules…if there are any…change for them.

    God keep blessing Radley Balko. Amen

    http://www.justiceforsal.com

  37. #37 |  Milwaukee Police Chief Says to Hell With the Rule of Law | Chicago Copwatch | 

    […] wonder the city’s force includes cops like Det. Kent Corbett, who actually wrote a letter to the editor of National Review in defense of the Maryland raid on […]

  38. #38 |  L'homme sans Visage | 

    Yeah, those cops fucked up, but Jesus Christ people… do we always have to go to such extremes when denouncing stupid behavior? It’s no more true to say that this is consistent in the police culture than to hate all mechanics cause the one down the street overcharged you for bad repairs. Now the overreactive types will again jump to conclusions, but we have to look at the truth here and not confuse anger and emotions for intelligent thought.

    I know a lot of cops and, hell, a lot of criminals, and you know what? I can’t make a generalization about any of them. Some are cool, some are assholes– on both sides of the line. Sometimes people just screw up. It’s not systematic of huge cracks in the system, it’s just a dumb ass mistake probably made by a dumb ass cop. The VAST majority of work done by people in law enforcement is very good. But you don’t hear about it. All you hear are the screw-ups. With that standard, I’ll bet you could make any profession look bad. Even the hallowed estate of journalism.

    I’m not defending anybody. It’s not my job to do so for adults. They can defend themselves. If it was my house, someone would probably be hurt because a gun or two would have been pointed at the people coming through the door. It wasn’t, thank God. I don’t want to shoot a cop and I don’t want one to shoot me.

    There is nothing perfect created by man. Nothing. I just hope you all aren’t so hard on yourselves when you make a mistake. You’d all be suicidal. Our extreme reactions to the occasional human imperfections just prove that we have no idea how good things really are in this country. Even when things go bad. God bless America, all of you, and our right to free speech.

  39. #39 |  Puppy Power - In The Agora | 

    […] not surprising county police would close ranks to protect their own. Correspondingly, I read in The Examiner yesterday that Mayor Calvo is suing PG County for damages […]

  40. #40 |  Dear PG County: You Don’t Shoot Puppies « Olde Frothingblog | 

    […] not surprising county police would close ranks to protect their own. Correspondingly, I read in The Examiner yesterday that Mayor Calvo is suing PG County for damages […]