Friday, September 18, 2009

Cheye Calvo speaks out

An excellent column by Cheye Calvo appears in the Post. You may recall that he is the Berwyn Heights mayor whose two Labrador Retrievers were shot and killed by police in a mistaken drug raid on his home. Please read the whole thing (it's not very long). Below are some highlights:

Yet, I remain captured by the broader implications of the incident. Namely, that my initial take was wrong: It was no accident but rather business as usual that brought the police to -- and through -- our front door.

In the words of Prince George's County Sheriff Michael Jackson, whose deputies carried out the assault, "the guys did what they were supposed to do" -- acknowledging, almost as an afterthought, that terrorizing innocent citizens in Prince George's is standard fare. The only difference this time seems to be that the victim was a clean-cut white mayor with community support, resources and a story to tell the media.

What confounds me is the unmitigated refusal of county leaders to challenge law enforcement and to demand better -- as if civil rights are somehow rendered secondary by the war on drugs.

Later is this bit of information, which may explain why the Internal Affairs investigation of the botched Elkridge raid is taking so long. Basically, the longer they drag it out the less chance there is that anyone on the police force gets in trouble:

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.
[Emphasis mine]