(Washington Times) A small-town mayor whose two black Labradors were killed by Prince George’s County authorities during a raid at his home last summer complained Monday of a “paramilitary culture” within the sheriff’s department as he announced a lawsuit.
Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo said he filed a lawsuit Monday in Prince George’s County Circuit Court against the state of Maryland and officials at the county sheriff’s office and police department. Mr. Calvo is seeking unspecified damages and a court order forcing the county to revise how authorities execute warrants, treat animals and detain individuals.
“We had hoped that the sheriff’s office and county police department could exercise internal leadership to acknowledge wrongdoing and make these changes on their own,” Mr. Calvo said in a statement. “But their comments and actions over the last year made clear that they lack the will and credibility to do so.”
The lawsuit claims that authorities’ failure to knock or announce their entry, the “cold-blooded” killing of the dogs and the “degrading detention” of Mr. Calvo and his mother-in-law, were the “direct and proximate result of a rogue, paramilitary culture” within the sheriff’s department.
The defendants acted “intentionally, with an evil and rancorous and improper motive, with ill will and actual malice,” the lawsuit states.
Of course the sheriff’s office didn’t make any changes to their dog-murdering and citizen-degrading policies… what, you want them to take all the fun out of police work?
Mayor Calvo is right about the “paramilitary culture”; it’s the psychology all soldiers must employ in war. The enemy (we pot smokers) is dehumanized and attacks on the enemy must be engaged with enough “shock and awe” that the enemy is overwhelmed physicially and psychologically. A bullet or two in your beloved canine best friend shows you who’s in charge and how serious they are and if you dare oppose them, you’ll get a bullet as well. Sitting you handcuffed on the floor in your dead dog’s pool of blood further dehumanizes you and asserts allied forces’ dominance over the battlefield.
Sadly, this is a story so very common (see my collection of dog shooting stories) that it usually doesn’t even make the news unless, like Mayor Calvo, the victims are white and well-connected, the dogs aren’t Rottweilers or pit bulls, and no marijuana is found in the raid.
These police canicides are nothing short of domestic terrorism. I live in Oregon. My wife is a medical marijuana patient and I am her caregiver. I would really like to grow our own marijuana plants. When I mentioned this to my wife, she said, “No, no, no! What if there is some big mistake and the cops raid our house and shoot Roscoe?” We’re a continent away from Berwyn Heights, we’re protected by a medical marijuana law, and we live in the most pot-friendly county in Oregon, and yet this incident and others like it still has terrorized my wife into thinking a pot plant will lead to our dog’s murder.