Who Hijacked Our Country

Sunday, August 10, 2008

When The Gestapo Breaks Down Your Door and Shoots Your Dog

This is what happens when you combine America’s trillion-dollar War on Drugs with police departments and SWAT teams full of single-digit-IQ trigger-happy goons.

The mayor of Berwyn Heights, MD — Cheye Calvo and his wife, Trinity Tomsic — unwittingly got caught up in a local drug scheme. It worked like this:

Two drug dealers were smuggling and distributing 400 pounds of marijuana. They divided the pot into a bunch of smaller packages and then delivered each one of those packages to an unsuspecting recipient. One of the dealers was a FedEx driver (or else he was just posing as one; I couldn’t tell from the article). The FedEx driver would leave a package of pot out in front of somebody’s house, and shortly afterward his partner would drive up and grab the package.

One of these pre-arranged addresses was the home of Mayor Cheye Calvo and his wife and mother-in-law. Unfortunately the mayor arrived home from work right after the package had been delivered and before the second half of the drug team was able to swoop in and pick it up. The mayor saw the package, saw that it was addressed to his wife, and he brought it inside.

As soon as the mayor had brought the package inside, a SWAT team stormed in on his house. His mother-in-law was out in the yard, saw a bunch of armed goons running toward the house, and screamed. The SWAT drones assumed that the mother-in-law was a lookout, and her screams were a warning to those badass dope dealers inside that the heat was approaching — quick, destroy the evidence!

So the SWATfucks broke down the door, shot and killed the family’s two Labrador Retrievers and hog-tied the mayor and his mother-in-law.

Calvo said the stormtroopers apparently killed his two dogs “for sport.” One of the dogs was running away when it was gunned down. He said, “Our dogs were our children. They were the reason we bought this house because it had a big yard for them to run in.”

For over a week, Prince George’s County Police Chief Melvin “Child Porn Gets Me” High was insisting that Calvo must have been involved with the drug dealers.

Finally, on August 8th (the Gestapo raid took place on July 29th) the chief phoned the mayor and his wife and told them they were no longer suspects. But he refused to apologize for the raid or the killing of his dogs, insisting that the SWAT goons were acting within the law.

A Maryland state senator said that raids like this are common; this one only made the news because the victim was the mayor. The FBI has opened a civil rights investigation into this case.

NOTE: The linked article is an updated version of the original, but a lot of the earlier information is missing.

Here is a Google News link to the incident.

And here is a Washington Post article, including some colorful comments at the end of the article.

I don’t know whether the information is true or not, but one of the commenters gives the address, phone number and e-mail address of the police chief:

“Chief of Police, Melvin C. High (soon to be very, very retired)
7600 Barlowe Road, Landover, MD 20785
301-333-4000, e-mail: Police Customer Service@co.pg.md.us
I suggest e-mailing the nazi directly.”

Anyway, that was one of the comments. I’m just passing it on; not making any suggestions or anything. No crank phone calls now.

I can’t seem to find the offending stormtroopers’ names in any of these articles. Funny — at the most absurd inappropriate times, there really IS a right to privacy.

This being America, millions of households are armed to the teeth. It’s too bad the Calvo household isn’t one of them. As the NRA keeps reminding us, there would be a lot fewer home invasions (and that’s exactly what this was) if the invaders were neutralized on the spot.

While the FBI “looks into” this horrifying incident and the pisspoor excuse for a police “chief” keeps making public non-statements, it’s never too late for some good old-fashioned frontier justice. Whether the SWATfucks’ names have been published or not, somebody has to know who they are. It would be just a shame if one of them tripped and fell and hit his teeth on a fire hydrant.

cross-posted at Bring It On!

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Blogger Mauigirl said...

This is horrifying and disgusting. It almost makes me want to have a gun of my own so if the Gestapo tried to enter my home and gun down my dog I could retaliate in kind. This type of story makes me totally enraged that this could happen in America.

August 10, 2008 at 7:23 PM  
Blogger John said...

According to veteran law enforcement, the war on drugs has not reduced the incidence of drug use, has not reduced the flow of drugs, and has created the modern Capone, the drug lords. The drug war is targeting blacks, resulting in an incarceration rate of blacks in the US that is over five times higher per 100,000 than were imprisoned in South Africa at the height of apartheid.

The Cato Institute has documented the widespread abuse of innocent citizens in botched raids. Categories are death of an innocent, death or injury of a police officer, death of a nonviolent offender, raid on an innocent suspect, other examples of paramilitary police excess, and unnecessary raids on doctors and sick people.

Anytime the government says war on something it is guaranteed to be an attack on our freedom and the Constitution. The federal government needs to be restricted to Constitutional parameters, which is very little outside the national defense, the mail, and the census. All laws and government actions should cite a clear Constitutional basis before going into effect, not be in effect until some citizen prevails in court.

August 10, 2008 at 7:56 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Mauigirl: It sure is horrifying and disgusting. Even worse, this kind of thing is much more common than we know. I did a lot of web searches and blog searches about this incident; there seems to be a concensus that this story only made the news because the victim was a VIP.

John: Very good points. Prohibition didn't accomplish anything except to strengthen organized crime. Since the war on drugs is much more extensive than prohibition, the damage is much worse. I've seen those prison statistics before; they're really appalling.

The Libertarian viewpoint has a lot going for it. Unfortunately, I also believe in environmental protection and a social safety net, which seem to require an extensive government (but maybe not). But it's true what they say -- what government gives, it can take away. It's a double-edged sword.

August 10, 2008 at 9:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These SAME Exact Berwyn Heights Maryland Cops Killed a Dog Last Year because these Illiterate, Mouth Breathing Rambo wannabees couldn't read and went to the WRONG ADDRESS!

These Blood Thirsty Maryland Cops killed a Grandmothers little pet dog as she hid in her wicker Dog Bed!

The Berwyn Heights Police REFUSE to release the Dog Killing Cops names citing "Secrecy Concerns" and say that thetwo officers received an "Internal Reprimand" probably meaning a 6 month paid leave/vacation.

This is a True Story, Google It, The EXACT SAME TWO OFFICERS are implicated in the 2nd Dog Killings as well. But the Berwyn County Police Refuse to Divulge the names as this is a secret internal police matter not open to public review or discussion.

Here is Last Years Dog Killing;


Prince George County police officers are under scrutiny for killing Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo's two dogs. Unfortunately for Prince George County residents, their police officers enjoy killing animals. Here is a similar story from November, 2007:

An Accokeek couple is demanding an apology after Prince George's County Sheriff's Deputies burst into their home and killed their dog - all because deputies went to the wrong address.

Pam and Frank Myers were tucked away in their home Friday night watching a movie when the warrant squad pounced....

"And I said, 'You just shot my dog," said Pam Myers, through tears. "I just wanted to go out and hold her a bit. They wouldn't even let me go out."

The couple's five-year-old boxer Pearl was killed. The deputy says he feared for his life. They say the dog would bark but was no danger to the deputies.

Of course, "The Sheriff's Department says it's investigating what went wrong." Yet no one has been punished or suffered any career consequences for killing a helpless dog for sport.

August 11, 2008 at 6:17 AM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

But there were drugs! Won't someone please think of the children?

This so-called war is a fucking joke, and now that cops are more trigger- and taser-happy than ever, well, shit like this happens.

If only we could ban Grand Theft Auto to stem this incessant tide of violence.

August 11, 2008 at 7:49 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Anonymous: This case gets more sickening the more I read about it. Hopefully some skilled computer hackers can find out the names and addresses of the guilty cops. Sometimes there's a case for vigilante justice. In a case like this (since there've been so many similar cases that didn't get as much publicity), that might be the only deterrent.

Randal: As yes, "for the children." With tens of millions of armed American citizens (I'm not one of them), I think the public is going to reach a breaking point after too many tasings and trigger-happy shootings.

August 11, 2008 at 9:22 AM  
Blogger People in the Sun said...

It's always like that. Things like that happen all the time, and it only comes out when it happens to the wrong person (from the police/jail standpoint). When I worked in a booking station, people would be left lying on cold floors without seeing a judge or a court commissioner for days. It was only when a high-powered lawyer was arrested and knew who how to complain that things changed.

And the underlying problem is the war on drugs. Shame.

August 11, 2008 at 10:00 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

PITS: No doubt, shit like this goes on all the time. I'm sure you saw a lot of this when you were working at a booking station.

But it's hard to get over the discrepancy. It's bad enough to hear about a shocking disgusting story, and then to realize that the only reason the story made the news was because the "wrong person" got fucked with.

August 11, 2008 at 10:20 AM  
Blogger Mike V. said...

whenever I read a story like this, I think "this cannot really happen in our country. can it?"
I guess so. fucking sickening, man.

August 11, 2008 at 8:46 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Mike: My thoughts exactly. Apparently it CAN happen here. How far we've deteriorated.

August 11, 2008 at 10:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I first read the story i laughed out loud (thought it was kinda funny). But it is also very sad that the police will bust into someone's home kill their animal or family member and say it's "within the law." WTF? I'm no police officer but common sense tells me that you follow a protocol when you bash into someone's home to make an arrest or break up a drug ring. I mean they do teach these methods in the academy right?

"A Maryland state senator said that raids like this are common; this one only made the news because the victim was the mayor."

Duh...even the village idiot could have figured that one out. I would like to see a statistic of how many black and poor folks have experienced these raids and it made the "news."


August 12, 2008 at 12:44 AM  
Blogger Praguetwin said...

Reminds me of a story I heard from a very nice couple in Southern Humboldt. They had about 300 acres bordering national forestland and someone was growing weed on their property just outside the national forest (to avoid Federal prosecution in caught).

The CAMP mother****ers raided their house at 5 in the morning and terrorized them for several hours. No I.D., no explanation. Imagine, just these dudes in black with machine guns tie you up and then start turning over your house.

In the end, they lost their property to pay for lawyers. They were (of course) acquitted and cleared of all charges, but not until they ran up nearly $500,000 in legal fees. Had to sell the land. Now they rent a small house in Eureka.

Now THAT is what I call freedom.

August 12, 2008 at 6:25 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Jo: That's what's so infuriating about this incident, the fact that it's so common. And the fact that those gestapo goons aren't accountable to anybody -- their supervisors, the law, their victims. If anybody else pulled off a home invasion like that they'd be doing 20 years in San Quentin. And if anybody else fucked up on the job that blatantly, they'd be fired.

Prague Twin: What a Godawful story. And I'm afraid it's all too common.

CAMP -- don't get me started. No matter how huge our budget deficit gets, there's always a few million lying around for the next CAMP raid.

I'm surprised there isn't more retaliation from cases like this. Even if the offending officers' identities are kept secret, computer hackers should be able to find out that information. Not that I'm saying that would be right or anything...

August 12, 2008 at 9:53 AM  
Blogger anna said...

That's the most awful thing ever!

August 12, 2008 at 3:17 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Anna: Yup, it sure is awful.

August 12, 2008 at 3:31 PM  
Blogger Mile High Pixie said...

Or if one of those dumbasses with a high-powered weapon and a single-digit IQ fell and hit his teeth on several fire hydrants. Or accidentally fell into an enclosure of angry, hungry dogs.

How the...? The story was funny until the dogs get hurt. How is shooting two animals "acting within the law?" The only upside to this is that I could claim that pelting the SWAT team's headquarters with dog feces is called "free speech."

August 12, 2008 at 6:58 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

MHP: I like your suggestion of having them "fall into an enclosure of angry hungry dogs."

There are so many hungry Pit Bulls and Rotweillers, and since those trigger-happy cops aren't serving any purpose anyway...

August 12, 2008 at 7:50 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

"It would be just a shame if one of them tripped and fell and hit his teeth on a fire hydrant."


Video that and put it on pay-per-view, and I will pony up the bucks to watch it!

And Anonymous' comment about mouth-breathing Rambos... priceless. So tragically true that it's funny.

How many people are occupying jail cells in our country because they got caught with less than an ounce of pot or got caught smoking a joint? Why all the focus on marijuana? And the Calvos were subjected to this kind of horrible treatment because of pot.

If our government ever wised up and grew and sold its own, we wouldn't have to hear and read so many stories like this one about the Calvos. It would take a big bite out of the druglords' power and profits too. And, we could even let thousands of people out of jail...

None of that would happen, though. Does it make too much sense?

August 12, 2008 at 8:06 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Snave: Yes, your proposal makes too much sense; it doesn't stand a chance. The Prison-Industrial Complex is an integral part of our economy. If you're a narc or a prison guard your job will never be outsourced (unless we start rendering all of our drug prisoners to China and India).

It's unacceptable that a tragedy like this could happen to a family who wasn't even guilty of anything illegal. And this undoubtedly happens a lot more often than we know. If these victims weren't VIPs, it wouldn't have made the news.

August 12, 2008 at 8:20 PM  
Anonymous JollyRoger said...

The Polizei are getting more aggressive everywhere, which is a natural result of Chimpy's unending assaults on the Constitution. Sieg Heil!

August 13, 2008 at 6:23 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

JR: This problem has been festering for a long time and it's getting worse. Too bad it hasn't gotten any publicity until a VIP had his house raided and his pets killed by Nazis.

August 13, 2008 at 10:56 AM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

The so-called War on Drugs is a multi-billion-dollar industry that has taken on a life of its own. For political and economic reasons, no one dares take it down.

This bogus war is based on prohibition, which never works. Never has and probably never will work.

You can be sure that right now there are cafes and dives all over New York frying batches of "real-thing" fries in oil containing transfats that was smuggled in from Jersey or wherever. Their customers pay a little extra while thumbing their nose at Mayor Bloomberg.

The classic American example of how prohibitions do more harm than good is the one against liquor that spawned more widespread and more-damaging corruption than anything in U.S. history.

Disgustingly, if Democrats get their way, we'll soon have de-facto prohibition of tobacco, with all the black market, smuggling, organized crime and corruption of public officials and law enforcement that's sure to follow.

But the all-time-great worldwide example is prostitution. If prohibitions worked, the oldest profession would've died out centuries ago.

What happened to that mayor, his family and dogs, is the direct result of another failed prohibition. Sounds as if the particular officers involved need to be busted out of their line of work permanently, along with the police chief. And then sued out of their last dollar. Anyone can make a mistake, but the story clearly indicates poor training, bad leadership, rotten attitude and a predictable pattern.

August 13, 2008 at 2:02 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

SW: Absolutely. Prohibition always backfires. And this issue cuts across party lines. If I remember right, the term "zero tolerance" was coined by Clinton's drug czar.

And the whole issue of gestapo police and SWAT teams cuts across party and racial lines. It's true that blacks and other minorities are more likely to be victimized by crazed cops. But in the county where this happened, the police chief and county sheriff are both black, and the county government is almost totally controlled by Democrats.

The Prison Industrial Complex and our whole prohibition mentality are just ingrained in our culture. I don't know whether we'll ever get out from under it or not.

August 13, 2008 at 2:15 PM  
Blogger spaceneedl said...

if the calvos had been armed to defend themselves, they'd be dead.

having guns in the house may feel like a security measure, but in this case it would've ensured the victims were unable to complain.

August 28, 2008 at 9:40 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Spaceneedl: That's true. When home invasion robbers (which is exactly what this SWAT team was) come barging into a house, the surprise element trumps everything. Unless you happen to be holding a pistol in your hand at the exact second that a gunman comes storming into your house, all the weapons in the world aren't gonna help.

I'm not into guns at all personally. I was just expressing the sentiment that some of those SWAT goons deserve a taste of their own medicine.

August 28, 2008 at 11:04 AM  
Blogger spaceneedl said...

tom, i agree with you completely. jack-booted thugs have no remorse and no respect for the innocent.

to them, i suspect, it's all just collateral damage. or maybe the price we pay for their protection.

there are many good cops out there. most of them, in fact. but there's an element in their ranks who have no qualms about abusing power, and no interest in the constitution.

August 28, 2008 at 11:53 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Spaceneedl: I agree, most cops are decent and law-abiding. Like every profession, they have some fuckups. They need better screening and better training to prevent tragedies like this. And the cowboys who think they're above the law need to be held accountable.

August 28, 2008 at 1:05 PM  

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