Let me give you three specific concerns underscored by our case.
First, the Prince George’s Police Department’s internal affairs function is broken. When the Justice Department released the county police from federal supervision in February, internal affairs was the one area that was not cleared. Internal affairs division (IAD) investigations were required to take no longer than 90 days. More than a year after our ordeal, my family awaits the IAD report on what happened at our home. The statute of limitations for officer misconduct is 12 months, which means that any wrongdoers are off the hook.
Next, there is significant evidence that the county is broadly violating the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable search and seizure. After initially claiming that they had a “no-knock” warrant to forcibly enter our home, county police acknowledged that they did not have one. But they went on to contend that there is no such thing as a “no-knock” warrant in Maryland. But this isn’t true. A statewide “no-knock” warrant statute was passed in 2005. Effectively, the county is denying the existence of state law. We can’t get the county to say whether it has ever followed the law or, at a minimum, even acknowledges it.
Finally, and perhaps most disturbing of all, county police may be lying to cover up their civil rights violations. A county officer on the scene told Berwyn Heights police a fabricated tale to justify the warrantless entry into our home. The lie disappeared after police learned that I was the mayor. Charges of a police coverup are hardly unusual, but there is significant evidence that county law enforcement engaged in a conspiracy on our lawn to justify an illegal entry. Nothing strikes at the heart of police credibility like creative report writing and false testimony to cover up a lie or even put innocent people behind bars.
Calvo is really an impressive guy. I’ve never talked to him whether he’d ever consider running for higher office, but there’d be some poetic justice in seeing him become the next Prince George’s county executive.