Friday, August 08, 2008

And the 'SWAT shoots dogs as policy'(it seems) story

is the gift that keeps on giving.
This week Prince George's police arrested two men for orchestrating a plot to deliver marijuana to the addresses of unsuspecting recipients -- among them, Calvo's wife, Trinity Tomsic.

Yet neither county Police Chief Melvin C. High nor Sheriff Michael A. Jackson have apologized to him, his wife or her mother, Georgia Porter, for the raid that traumatized the family and killed their black Labrador retrievers, Payton and Chase
You know why: they're huddled with lawyers who're crapping themselves at the thought of an apology because it would involve some level of admitting they screwed up. Which they did. But God forbid they actually try to deal with the screwup and make it right, as much as possible.

Here's something else that makes this crap even worse:
Berwyn Heights police Chief Patrick A. Murphy appeared with the mayor Thursday and said his agency was never informed of the investigation, despite an existing memorandum of understanding to work together on such operations.

He said not knowing about the raid could have led his officers to fire upon the sheriff's SWAT team because its members were wearing street clothes, masks and carrying weapons as they approached the mayor's house.
...Porter, 50, was cooking artichokes in the kitchen and screamed when she saw the approaching masked men with guns.

The door was kicked in and gunshots rang out, Calvo said. Police killed one dog, Payton -- named for football running back Walter Payton -- even though Porter was standing next to him
A lot of people have asked the question before, why masks all the time? There are circumstances they might be called for, but not always. And here, you've got a raid on a house in a neighborhood where they didn't actually need(from what I've read) a 'dynamic entry' raid in the first place, and yet no uniforms. Apparently not even armor and whatever that might make people think 'police'; just masked, armed men charging into the house.

Yeah, it was 'just a mistake'; just like if the guy had 'made a threatening move' while backing down the stairs he'd probably have been shot, and that would have been his 'fault'. Or if he'd met these masked home invaders with a weapon and killed one, they'd be trying to hang him for not knowing they were police and submitting properly.

Calvo said he wants federal officials to examine policies that he said have led Prince George's police officials to serve warrants on wrong addresses and kill family pets before.

In once such case, Prince George's sheriff's deputies executed a warrant on the home of Frank and Pamela Myers of Accokeek in November. The Myers told sheriffs that they had the wrong address as their dog began barking from the yard. The couple asked if they could retrieve their dog, but deputies refused. Minutes later, two shots were fired and the dog was killed, according to a notice of a tort claims filed by attorney Michael J. Winkelman. The Myers were never charged and nothing was seized from their house.

There needs to be an investigation, not only here but nationwide on this crap. As Insty put it We need federal civil rights legislation stripping officials of immunity in cases like this. Maybe now that they're raiding politicians' houses, we'll see some action.

Maybe. And it really sucks that it takes something like this to stir things up on these actions.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well, it's a personal "policy" of mine to "handle" anyone who harms my dog.

Yepper. Locked, cocked, and ready to rock.