Militarization of Police

More on Mayor Calvo

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Over the weekend, Washington Post Metro columnist Marc Fisher wrote a terrific column on the botched drug raid on Berwyn Heights, Maryland Mayor Cheye Calvo.  Snippet:

Critics of no-knock raids say they not only result in too many errors, sometimes with tragic results, but undermine efforts at community policing, the building of trust and relationships that is critical to effective crime-fighting, such as Berwyn Heights' requirement that its officers go to every local youth ballgame, get out of the car and walk around chatting with people.

"Telling the people that these officers followed procedure and did nothing wrong sends a chilling message," Calvo says. "And then we wonder why people who live in high-crime areas don't trust the police. They treated us like animals. They were not there to protect and serve, they were there to search and destroy."

Calvo intends to seek stronger county oversight of SWAT deployments, and that would certainly help. But as long as we continue to glamorize the police when they take on the trappings of the military, more people will be shocked out of bed in the middle of the night, more dogs will be shot on sight, and we'll have ever more reason to wonder why the police are treated like enemy occupiers.

Fisher attended a Cato panel on no-knock raids that I spoke at last week.  After the event, I recorded a podcast for Cato, available here.  You can also now watch an archived video of the forum here.

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  1. No way this was an accident. Somewhere, a drug dealer is laughing himself silly.

  2. Yeah, because drug dealers think it’s good business to lose a bunch of product for a prank. I doubt that.

  3. Yeah, it’s not like marijuana grows on trees.

  4. Yeah, because drug dealers think it’s good business to lose a bunch of product for a prank. I doubt that.

    You think it’s more likely they accidentally sent it to the Mayor’s home, and someone accidentally tipped off the police?

    Also, getting LEO to bite the hand that feeds them should be roughly priceless for them.

    That night, more than three hours into his ordeal, after Calvo had begged to be allowed to put on pants or to wipe his tears, he says one officer told him that drug dealers in the area had been drawing package deliverymen into their operations, directing drug shipments to the homes of innocent people, where dealers could intercept the stuff.

  5. I think it’s been well chronicled that this was part of a scheme in which packages of drugs were intended for interception by insiders with the delivery service. The recipient addresses were otherwise random.

  6. Oh, I see what you mean, Dave. The dealer didn’t do it to set up a mayor on purpose, but when it turned out that it did, he’d probably laugh.

    I thought you were saying a dealer said “let’s send this to the mayor for shits and giggles”.

  7. Welcome to the new Regime! I have a feeling its only to get worse as time goes on.

    Jiff
    http://www.anonymize.us.tc

  8. Dave makes an interesting point. If drug dealers were able to set up a scheme where they could effortlessly implicate major muckety-mucks of society in drug traffic to at least the point where the no-knock raiding parties come a-raidin’, they could fairly easily destroy either the drug war generally or the no-knock raid tactics particularly.

    But why on Earth would they want to do that? Illegality keeps their profit margins high, and their markets into little monopolistic fiefdoms.

  9. “I thought you were saying a dealer said “let’s send this to the mayor for shits and giggles”.”

    Or they could be sending a “token shipment” of ditchweed to allow the LEO’s to think they made a big bust, meanwhile a couple hundred pounds of the “chronic” was delivered somewhere else, with no one the wiser.

    /Everyone wins!!!

  10. I just wish it happened to someone more powerful and influential. This is a start, at least.

  11. If drug dealers were able to set up a scheme where they could effortlessly implicate major muckety-mucks of society in drug traffic to at least the point where the no-knock raiding parties come a-raidin’

    But they can’t. Do you honestly think that if some pot was followed through the mail and was delivered to the Kennedy compound, that there would be a raid? The more powerful the person, the less likely that they would get raided. Hell, the cops wouldn’t even think of it just because why the hell would a powerful person do that?

    That’s why the one time we’ve seen it, it’s been to a part-time mayor of a suburb, and why such a scheme by drug dealers would never work (totally aside from it not being in their best interests).

  12. More fun with “Ads by Google”:

    “Become A SWAT Member”
    Get A Free SWAT Education Kit. Get A Degree, Get A Great Career!
    YourPoliceCareer.com

  13. More fun with “Ads by Google”:

    Thanks. I’d never know otherwise. Really, the ads appear but do not register with me. I’d still be unaware of the Snorg T-shirt girls if fellow H&R commenters hadn’t pointed it out.

    My life would have been poorer.

  14. Tom wrote…
    “I think it’s been well chronicled that this was part of a scheme in which packages of drugs were intended for interception by insiders with the delivery service. The recipient addresses were otherwise random.”

    That appears true, but it ignores yet another fact about this particular instance.

    After a ‘drug dog’ discovered the package on it’s way in Arizona, the police totally ruined any chance of proving their case by catching the perps in the act: They went completely around the perps and the police themselves planted the package of drugs on the mayor’s front porch.

    Had the police continued to monitor and carefully track the package to see where/when it disappeared in the chain, they would have likely had the delivery person or accomplice, instead of egg on their face.

    For some reason breaking down a family’s door, shooting their pets, and otherwise causing damage and terrorizing the residents because the homeowner picked up and took inside a package of drugs planted on his porch BY THE POLICE seems terribly wrong even if they DID have an appropriate warrant for that no-knock destruction – which they did not.

    This is no longer the country I fought for oh those many years ago. :o(

  15. Every time I hear about one of these botched raids (which is all too frequently), I have to wonder why most Americans accept “law enforcement” that looks and acts more like a bunch of a glue huffing, nazi stormtrooper crack fiends on a steroid rage than any sort of professional organization set to ‘protect and serve’ the citizenry.

    Oh wait…thats right…drugs are bad. Sorry if a whole bunch of innocent people get their doors kicked in and get shot, but we just can’t have people taking a little non-violent toke, now can we? Hmmm…

    Well, I gotta run – I think I’ll set some bouncing bettys under my doormat now.

  16. Tomas-

    It never really was. That is the reality. Most people are content to narcotize themselves with the old red, white and blue. Not good for the soul.

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