Anyway, since dogs in jeopardy seem to be a popular topic around here, Mr. Balko says that two dogs belonging to the mayor of Berwyn Heights were shot during a SWAT team drug raid.
Here's The Washington Post, with just the facts:
A police SWAT team raided the home of the mayor in the Prince George's County town of Berwyn Heights on Tuesday, shooting and killing his two dogs, after he brought in a 32-pound package of marijuana that had been delivered to his doorstep, police said.....
The package was addressed to Calvo's wife, Trinity Tomsic, said law enforcement officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the case is ongoing.
Tippett said police are working to determine for whom the drugs were meant....
"My government blew through my doors and killed my dogs," Calvo said. "They thought we were drug dealers, and we were treated as such. I don't think they really ever considered that we weren't."
Calvo described a chaotic scene, in which he -- wearing only underwear and socks -- and his mother-in-law were handcuffed and interrogated for hours. They were surrounded by the dogs' carcasses and pools of the dogs' blood, Calvo said.
And here's Mr. Radley Balko again:
So far there have been no arrests, and the police seem to be backing down from the idea that the mayor and his wife are drug dealers. If it’s true that they aren’t, I’m sure we’ll soon hear lots of apologies to the mayor for not being more careful and thorough, given his esteemed position.And here's Mr. Whited Sepulchre:
The real question is whether there will be any discussion over the appropriateness of sending a SWAT team into any private home, handcuffing the occupants at gunpoint, and slaughtering the family pets—all over the mere receipt of a mailed package of weed. I doubt it.
Even if hizzoner turns out to be guilty, it’s always worth contextualizing these cases: We’ve reached the point where it’s commonplace for the government to wage violent, confrontational invasions of private homes over the suspicion of possession of the dried leaves of a plant.
I haven't posted much about the need to reform drug laws, other than a couple of posts about the near impossibility of completing a long parole or probation sentence. But jails are becoming a growth industry. We've passed China and Russia in the number of inmates and per capita percentage of inmates. Our drug prohibitions are the biggest problem in Bolivia and Colombia, and the situation along the Texas/Mexico border makes the Prohibition era 1920's look like a Sunday School class.
My friend Dr. Liz once told me that she sees marijuana laws as the Police Department's buffalo. (i.e. - Native Americans couldn't prosper and grow without a healthy supply of buffalo. That's a great line, when you think about it.)
Mrs. Whited Sepulchre works as a Youth Minister, so lobbying for relaxed marijuana possession laws gets awkward. Still, we're using the lives of a lot of casual marijuana users as fodder for a government growth industry. The number of social workers, lawyers, job counselors, parole officers, drug testers, police officers, and prison employees who rely on this particular "buffalo" is astounding.
Couldn't their time be better spent doing something else?
One other thing.....I was googling about for pictures of Cheye Calvo, or even better, his dogs. Instead, I came up with this site, where he was a speaker at "National ID at the Crossroads: The Future of Privacy in America".
National ID cards and privacy issues are a big time libertarian issue.
Libertarians generally speak out in favor of relaxed marijuana laws.
The libertarians who speak out loudest in favor of relaxed marijuana laws are generally those who occasionally ....
Aw, never mind.
They still didn't need to shoot his dogs.