War on Drugs

More Aftermath Bumbling in the Cheye Calvo Raid


Cheye Calvo, you'll remember, is the Berwyn Heights, Maryland mayor whose home was mistakenly raided by Prince George's County, Maryland police.  Calvo's two black labs were shot and killed, and he and his mother-in-law were bound at gunpoint for hours, even after it was clear that the police had made a mistake.  The raid came after police intercepted a package of marijuana sent to Calvo's address through a delivery service.  Police conducted no additional investigation before sweeping in with the SWAT team.

When asked about Calvo's case in an interview a local newspaper last month, Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson offered up a truly bewildering response:

Johnson said he didn't think an apology was necessary and said he has not spoken with Calvo about the incident.

"Well, I think in America that is the apology, when we're cleared," he said. "The authorities have to be able to follow evidence. Sometimes we realize that people are victimized. … At the end of the day, the investigation showed he was not involved. And that's, you know, a pat on the back for everybody involved, I think."

He expressed condolences for Calvo's pets but said he understood the actions of law enforcement.

"I try putting myself in the situation of the sheriff who entered the house," he said. "They had one set of information at the time. … The thing we have to do is make sure those incidents don't happen again."

I'm having a hard time comprehending what sort of mindset you'd need to have to come to the conclusion that Calvo's innocence equates to "a pat on the back for everybody involved."  As for making sure incidents like what happened to Calvo "don't happen again," the utter cluelessness of politicians like Jack Johnson is precisely why they do keep happening.  Over and over.  It also likely factors into why Johnson presides over the county with one of the worst police misconduct records in the country.

I last wrote about Calvo's case in response to a Milwaukee police detective who had defended the raid in a letter to the editor of National Review.