Voting Rights Advocate Raided by SWAT Team

Monday, November 28th, 2011

I’m not sure what’s going on here, but it looks like something to keep an eye on.

Crooks & Liars suggests the raid was intimidation. But we are talking about the Prince George’s County, Maryland Police Department, here. I wouldn’t be too quick to rule out good old fashioned incompetence.

By the way, a reader points out that new Prince George’s County Police Chief Mark Magaw was formerly in charge of the narcotics division during the colossally botched raid on the home of Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo. Magaw is also the one who leaked that the department had obtained a no-knock raid for Calvo’s home. They hadn’t. And still, he was promoted to police chief.

 

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27 Responses to “Voting Rights Advocate Raided by SWAT Team”

  1. #1 |  Bob | 

    Warrant? Why? We don’t need no fucking warrant!

    Notice that it took 3 DAYS for the cops to produce a warrant in the Calvo raid. Apparently, it’s COMMON PRACTICE to raid without a warrant.

    I’m sorry… When exactly was the Constitution revised to allow unwarranted raids? Oh. It wasn’t.

    Also… How IN THE FUCK was a guy instrumentally responsible for the Calvo raid even promoted to Chief?

    Can you say “The Prince George’s County Police is corrupt to the core?”

    I think you can.

  2. #2 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    I’m on the fence about voter ID laws. On the one hand, I’m not happy about the trend towards universal need for papers, while on the other there does seem to be an awful lot of vote fraud going on (and Maryland stinks of it, and has for decades). But unless there has been an absolutely seismic shift in Maryland politics that I haven’t heard about, the Prince George’s County government is machine-Democrat through and through, and so should be all for this woman’s agenda. So until further details appear, I’m betting on simple incompetence.

  3. #3 |  Single Acts of Tyranny | 

    Quite a stunning article. The defence that we got the wrong address is tantamount to saying “We’re not evil, we’re stupid incompetent fuckwits” a proposition vouchsafed by the idea that the fourth amendment doesn’t apply here?

    Now if you dress a bunch of gung-ho buffoons in black, arm them to the teeth, call them the elite, pump them up on your propaganda, make them de facto beyond the law and use them as a para-military force to intimdate your enemies…..

    Well you woudn’t be the first tyrant to try this little stunt.

  4. #4 |  kant | 

    I never understood why the “we got the wrong address” excuse works? In the best case scenario where they actually do just get the wrong address, they are still committing; illegal breaking and entering; assault and battery; destruction of private property; along with a lengthy list of civil rights violations. Worst case scenario they do it intentionally with no warrant, same list as above but an even longer list of civil right violations. how is this just ignored by judges?

  5. #5 |  mcmillan | 

    CSP Schofield: From what I’ve seen, examples of fraud tend to be isolated cases that are used to justify responses that are much more burdansome than is needed, but I’d seriously be interested in specifics about what you see as “an awful lot of vote fraud going on”.

    That said, it doesn’t take much reading of Radly to think incompetence seems more likely than malice, especially once I saw this was in Prince George’s County

  6. #6 |  John P. | 

    Isolated incident number 612,982 and counting…

  7. #7 |  John C. Randolph | 

    There’s a reason why everyone in the DC area calls that place “piggy county”…

    -jcr

  8. #8 |  Bergman | 

    Police entry tools are highly specialized, designed to exploit weaknesses in standard architectural technologies used in this country. There are ways to unobtrusively fortify a building so police have to ask nicely to enter, rather than forcing their way in. In the absence of a warrant, the ability to say “no thanks” to a SWAT team is priceless.

    The scariest thing to me, these days, is that we are rapidly approaching a point, here in America of all places, where such structural modifications aren’t a sign of criminality or paranoia, but simply good common sense.

  9. #9 |  Standard Mischief | 

    >>Magaw is not without baggage. He was commander of the police department’s narcotics enforcement division when a sheriff’s office SWAT team, serving a county police warrant, broke down the door of Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo’s home in 2008 and shot and killed his two dogs.

    I’m not sure what’s going on here, but in PG county there is both a police department and an elected sheriff. Nobody likes to talk about it, but the chief of police does not seem to report to the highest elected law enforcement officer in the county.

    IIRC, there wasn’t a warrant when the police raided Cheye Calvo’s home, and I don’t understand why the Sheriff’s SWAT thugs would enforce the Police Department’s warrant anyway.

  10. #10 |  a_random_guy | 

    “There are ways to unobtrusively fortify a building”

    It’s only common sense! These same fortifications keep burglars from breaking-and-entering. The doors and windows on most houses are a bad joke.

    - Hardened glass in your windows is not expensive – the first time your kid mis-throws a rock, you’ve paid for the investment.

    - House doors – all of them – should be solid wood or metal-core, with a locking system that secures the door not only on the side, but also top and bottom.

    - Decent, modern keys, not the standard cut-key garbage that anyone with a file can copy.

    Anyone renovating their house ought to put in these “fortifications” – they are only common sense.

  11. #11 |  scott | 

    fortification removal notice coming soon to a jurisdiction near you.

  12. #12 |  Name Nomad | 

    never understood why the “we got the wrong address” excuse works? In the best case scenario where they actually do just get the wrong address, they are still committing; illegal breaking and entering; assault and battery; destruction of private property; along with a lengthy list of civil rights violations.

    “When the president the SWAT team does it, that means it is not illegal.”

  13. #13 |  Name Nomad | 

    Whoops. I was attempting to strike out “the president” above like this. Apparently I fail at formatted comedy. (And comedy in general, but that’s another story).

  14. #14 |  albatross | 

    What I dont understand is why having an armed midnight raid on your house happen by mistake isn’t the prelude to never needing to hold down a job again, while the senior law enforcement person who signed off on the raid leaves his profession under a cloud and ends up working as a nighttime security guard at Wal-Mart.

  15. #15 |  Mrs. C | 

    By the way, a reader points out that new Prince George’s County Police Chief Mark Magaw was formerly in charge of the narcotics division during the colossally botched raid on the home of Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo. Magaw is also the one who leaked that the department had obtained a no-knock raid for Calvo’s home. They hadn’t. And still, he was promoted to police chief.

    I understand that FCPD SWAT Officer Deval Bullock who unjustly shot and killed my son on Jan. 24, 2006, is also an “And still,”………he was promoted to detective.

    http://www.justiceforsal.com

  16. #16 |  BamBam | 

    private justice

    The State exists to oppress you. Justice will not be achieved via the machinations of The State.

  17. #17 |  Kristen | 

    The Prince George’s County Police is corrupt to the core

    The PG County GOVERNMENT is corrupt to the core. The entire damn operation, from the council chair to the lowliest bureaucrat.

  18. #18 |  Michael Chaney | 

    Not that it’s relevant to the article (nothing justifies what the police have done here), but she’s a POS, too, who is pushing the idea that requiring an ID to vote is a “suppression” tactic. In fact, what it suppresses is stuff like this:

    http://dailycaller.com/2011/11/24/12-charged-with-voter-fraud-in-georgia-election/

  19. #19 |  Michael Chaney | 

    Sorry, didn’t mean to submit. The point I’m making is that she is anything but a “voting rights advocate”; she’s a POS who wants to keep the status quo where Democrats can give homeless people cigarettes while driving them around to multiple polling stations.

  20. #20 |  Dana Gower | 

    I thought this from the same article was interesting:

    Including fatal police shootings and other killings deemed justified, the county has had 42 homicides this year, up from 32 during the same time last year. Much of that increase was driven by an unusually violent January, when 16 people were killed, including 13 in the first 12 days.

    I wonder how many of the 42 homicides were fatal police shootings and other killings deemed justified.

  21. #21 |  RobZ | 

    Voter fraud via absentee ballot seems to much much more common than people illegally casting votes at the pools but I’ve yet to see a voter ID law that requires an ID before someone can get an absentee ballot.

    Michael Chaney’s #18 example happens to fall into the absentee ballot fraud category.

    In Minnesota at least, most of the “voter fraud” conducted in person at a polling place appears to involve felons casting a vote.

  22. #22 |  DarkEFang | 

    If we really want people to show an ID in order to vote, then we simply have to stop charging fees to acquire an ID. Otherwise, requiring an ID for casting votes is equivalent to a poll tax, which is a classic method of voter suppression.

    Every election, one computer expert or another writes about simple ways to break into electronic voting systems and mess with the vote totals. I don’t get all the outrage over a handful of individual voter fraud cases while we never do anything about the lack of security and accountability in the vote counts of entire counties.

  23. #23 |  Jim | 

    Mark Magaw?? I thought that last name looked familiar and then it hit me – JOHN Magaw – former head of the Secret Service, ATF, FEMA and the first-ever of TSA. His Wiki entry shows a Mark Allen Magaw as a relative. A son perhaps? Looks like authoritarian thuggery is a proud family tradition in the Magaw household. Makes me want to puke.

  24. #24 |  Michael Chaney | 

    If we really want people to show an ID in order to vote, then we simply have to stop charging fees to acquire an ID. Otherwise, requiring an ID for casting votes is equivalent to a poll tax, which is a classic method of voter suppression.

    I agree. The cost to give a state-issued photo ID to the very few people who don’t have a driver’s license is trivial.

  25. #25 |  Dana Gower | 

    @24
    The cost isn’t as trivial as you might think. Mississippi just passed a Voter ID initiative. The state’s analysis of the cost:

    Based on Fiscal Year 2010 information, the Department of Public Safety issued 107,094 photo IDs to U.S. citizens of voting age. The individuals were assessed $14 per ID to offset a portion of the $17.92 cost per ID. The cost is estimated to remain the same, but the assessment will no longer be allowable under the provision of Initiative 27. Therefore, the Department of Public Safety is estimated to see a loss of revenue of approximately $1,499,000.

    This is a solution in search of a problem. Very few cases of voter fraud involve not showing photo ID.

  26. #26 |  Dana Gower | 

    @18
    If you read the linked story about voter fraud, it mentions examples in Georgia and Mississippi. Both involved absentee ballots. Most likely, the ballots were obtained legally. The corruption (not necessarily in the cases cited in this story, but in general) involves someone gaining access to those ballots. Voter ID would do little, if anything, to prevent that. The problem with the Voter ID initiatives is that they specify government-issued ID, which could open the door to mischief.

  27. #27 |  John David Galt | 

    I’m becoming more and more convinced that the only way to prevent voter fraud (of all kinds, including bribery) is for the voter to come in in person, show ID (preferably not one created just for that purpose), and walk alone into a voting booth. The way to handle absentees is to set up one voting booth at the registrar’s office a month early, and let the person come in and vote there before he goes out of town.

    But voting by mail, or e-mail, needs to be eliminated. Totally. Period. The likelihood of fraud is so high that it’s unacceptable, even for handicapped folks who can’t do it any other way. I’d rather send an official out to visit them than allow any exceptions.

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