Police Hijack Mayor’s Household in a Botched Police Raid
We have always prided ourselves in the fact that we live in a country full of freedoms. Our forefathers created a separate document that outlines our rights as American citizens. We believe in freedom of speech, the right to choose what religion to practice, the right to bear arms and the right to innocence until proven guilty, that is for the most part.
However, in some recent cases, these freedoms have been infringed upon by botched police raids, which have become a common theme seen in newspapers across the country.
Although the police are trying to protect us, they are targeting the wrong people, in many cases bringing embarrassment on the family with false accusations, racking up the dollars in property damage in some raids and even killing family pets that are caught up in the confusion of some unnecessary attacks.
The concept of a police force was developed to patrol our communities, protecting the innocent and fighting crime; however, in Berwyn Heights, Md, a small town of 3,000, that wasn’t the case during a recent incident in which the mayor and his family were harmed by the very people who have taken an oath to protect them.
A Surprise Attack
On July 29, Mayor Cheye Calvo came home from work to find a package addressed to his wife sitting on the front stoop, according to Newsweek. Picking up the package to bring it inside, Calvo went about his normal afternoon activities: he visited with his mother-in-law Georgia, took his two black Labrador retrievers–Chase and Payton– on a walk, and dressed for an evening event.
While Calvo was upstairs, Georgia was cooking in the kitchen when she saw masked men with guns running toward the house. Within moments, the herd of men had burst through the door and shot Payton, who had been standing near the stove but had reportedly moved to greet the newcomers in the house. A few seconds later, Chase also lay dead after the men turned their guns on him as he ran from them.
Calvo was forced downstairs still in his underwear where a scene of blood, his two dead pets and his mother-in-law in handcuffs lay before him. When Calvo told the men that he was the mayor, they told him he was crazy. When Trinity Tomsic, Calvo’s wife, came home during the middle of the raid she found her mother and husband had been handcuffed for two hours, lying in the blood of her two “children.”
The men responsible for the raid were police officers from Prince George’s County who had planned an operation to catch drug traffickers without letting the local Berwyn Heights police know. Tomsic had been picked as an unsuspecting victim by drug traffickers to receive a package full of marijuana in order to help deliver the goods. The Prince George’s County Police had intercepted the package and delivered it to the house in a sting operation.
A Good Deed Gone Wrong
Despite the grave misunderstanding and loss of life, the mayor and his family has yet to receive a real apology. County Police Chief Melvin C. High admitted that the family was innocent victims caught up in a drug traffic ring, and while he expressed regret for the situation, he never issued an apology, reported the Baltimore Sun. In fact, Sheriff Michael A. Jackson, whose department was involved in the raid, defended the actions of his department.
On Thursday, August 6, the mayor asked the U.S. Justice Department’s civil rights division to investigate the raid and other botched raids that have been made by the Prince George’s law enforcement. He believes that although his wife and family were considered innocent victims, they have not been treated that way. The Berwyn Heights police Chief Patrick A. Murphy appeared with the mayor to tell the agency that although the law enforcement officers have an understanding of working together on such operations, he nor anyone else in his unit were informed about the operation.
The botched police raid of the Berwyn Heights mayor’s house has received a lot of media attention because of Calvo’s status; however, many other households have also fallen victim to the police. As more of these stories begin to surface, there is no doubt that we will begin to question if we are not only safe from the bad guys but the good as well.
Since when have we granted police the ability to raid innocent families’ homes, in some cases killing our beloved pets? The police are an institution set up to help protect us and have been granted special exceptions to many laws, but there comes a point where law enforcement should be able to be controlled so it does not have free reign to do whatever the officials like.
As a country, we set checks and balances into place to ensure that our government would not become a monarchy; however, with the stories in the news recently, it seems as though we need to pay more attention to what our police are doing on the job. We need to be aware of our individual rights and realize where we can take a stand against our law enforcement as United States citizens.
Is this raid just a misunderstanding or a mistake that someone needs to apologize for?
What rights did the mayor and his family has during the raid and now after all the destruction?
What about the rights of the officers?