More Obfuscation in Prince George's County


Prince George's County, Maryland officials are still refusing to hand over documents related to the botched raid on Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo.

In letters obtained by The Gazette, county lawyers rejected the mayor's request to obtain police reports, officer accounts and other significant documents from the raid.

"We will object to any request that deals with matters that are or have been subject to investigation," wrote Mary C. Crawford, deputy county attorney, in an Oct. 21 letter to Calvo.

Police spokesman Maj. Andy Ellis said Monday that the county is still reviewing its role in the execution of the search warrant.

"The preliminary investigation has been completed," Ellis said. "Right now it's in the review phase."

Ellis said the department would likely notify Calvo of the conclusions of its internal investigation but said he wasn't sure if police would turn over incident reports and other documents the mayor has sought.

"It's not something we normally do," Ellis said. "I presume he could request them, and we would consider any request. But as a matter of course, it's not something we usually do."


Calvo, who said he's become increasingly concerned with the tactics officers employ in drug warrants, had also requested copies and reports from other searches the county has done in addition to his own.

Though the county agreed to give copies of the training orders and policy manuals allowed under the Maryland Public Information Act, they denied more specific information about the July 29 raid and any other raids. County attorneys also said they would charge Calvo more than $1,000 to copy the allowed records, which include police training manuals and department policy statements on how to execute search warrants.

"It will be time consuming," Crawford wrote. "Please let me know if you want to spend the money to identify the material."

The Maryland Public Information Act allows anyone to request copies of existing records, though exceptions are made for personnel records, privileged communication with lawyers and material that is part of an ongoing investigation.

Crawford also said budget problems would hamper the county's ability to turn over the allowed information in a timely manner.

This is an elected official making these requests, in a case where he was terrorized and nearly killed by agents of the government, in a botched raid where he was clearly innocent, and that made national news.  And they're still giving him the runaround.  Four-and-a-half months later, they're still playing games. Imagine what happens when normal people try to get documents related to run-ins with the police.