The Police State: Rally
Post-rally post here. Pre-rally post here.
The city of Berwyn Heights is holding a rally in support of its Mayor, Cheye Calvo, who was recently subjected to the power of the police state in its rawest and most brutal form when a SWAT team kicked in the door to his house, shot his two black Labs to death, and handcuffed the Mayor (in his underwear) and his aged mother-in-law and interrogated them without benefit of counsel or even clothing (the Mayor's, anyway), for several hours. From the WahPoo:
A rally in support of Calvo and in memory of his dogs has been scheduled for tomorrow evening at a ball field in the town. Berwyn Heights Police Chief Patrick Murphy said his eight-person department has been besieged by phone calls from as far away as Louisiana from people who mistakenly believe his officers were involved.La Casa de Los Gatos extends its condolences to the Mayor on the loss of his dogs. Labs are just too sweet for us to resist. Not the brightest bulbs in the chandelier, but good, sweet doggies.
Murphy said he is angry that, instead, his officers were not informed ahead of time of that the county planned a major operation inside the town limits, especially in light of a 2006 incident in which then-Prince George's Police Chief Melvin C. High expressed formal "regret" that Berwyn Heights police were not told of threats made to an abortion clinic.
"I believe there is absolutely no credible reason why notification to my police department should not have been made," Murphy said. He said he is confident his officers could have entered Calvo's house without violence.
Cpl. Clinton Copeland, a spokesman for the Prince George's police department, said officers had a "no-knock" warrant, which allowed them to enter the house without alerting Calvo. Such warrants are issued when police fear they might face armed suspects. He said they notified Murphy immediately after entering the house.
The Calvo/Tomsic doggies
We sure hope the Mayor sues the asses off the Prince George's County police and the Sherriff's office. Those thugs blatantly violated the Constitution, and, as one of the WahPoo's commenters pointed out, that's just a piece of paper unless its provisions are enforced.
Please consider schlepping over to Berwyn Heights to demonstrate your support for Mayor Cheye Calvo's constitutional rights, if you live out that way.
Just remember, the police are supposed to "protect and serve" the citizenry. Not kick their doors in or shoot them or their children or dogs on mere suspicion. The Constitution's Fourth Amendment requires "probable cause":
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.The police clearly had no reason to suspect Mayor Calvo, his wife (an employee of the State of Maryland) or his mother-in-law would be armed and dangerous, which might have justified the probable cause requirement of the Fourth Amendment. A little research — a friendly conversation with the Berwyn Heights police, for example — would have told them that the couple lived a quiet low-key sort of life and were respected professionals of standing in the community, not drug dealers and scofflaws.
Mind you, the Constitution was created to protect everyone, not just quiet, low-key middle-class white professionals. So the cops don't get a pass for the shooting of Tarika Wilson, either.
Calvo says police did not show him a copy of the warrant, and the press has not been able to obtain a copy:
Mayor Calvo has not been arrested, and neither has his wife or mother-in-law. But, police say anyone living in the house is a person of interest in their investigation. Calvo says he was never shown a search warrant during Tuesday night's raid, and FOX 5 was unable to obtain a copy from circuit court.Stumble It!