Great Op Ed by Mr. Calvo!
Cheye Calvo at his home before an August 2008 news conference. The dogs in the photo with Calvo and his wife were shot and killed by police. (By Marvin Joseph — The Washington Post)
In the words of Prince George’s County Sheriff Michael Jackson, whose deputies carried out the assault, “the guys did what they were supposed to do” — acknowledging, almost as an afterthought, that terrorizing innocent citizens in Prince George’s is standard fare. The only difference this time seems to be that the victim was a clean-cut white mayor with community support, resources and a story to tell the media
I remember thinking, as I kneeled at gunpoint with my hands bound on my living room floor, that there had been a terrible, terrible mistake.
An errant Prince George’s County SWAT team had just forced its way into our home, shot dead our two black Labradors, Payton and Chase, and started ransacking our belongings as part of what would become a four-hour ordeal.
The police found nothing, of course, to connect my family and me to a box of drugs that they had been tracking and had delivered to our front door. The community — of which I am mayor — rallied to our side. A FedEx driver and accomplice were arrested in a drug trafficking scheme. Ultimately, we were cleared of any wrongdoing, but not before the incident drew international outrage.
This was 14 months ago. We have since filed suit, and I am confident that we will find justice more quickly than most.
Yet, I remain captured by the broader implications of the incident. Namely, that my initial take was wrong: It was no accident but rather business as usual that brought the police to — and through — our front door.