According to this article in the Washington Post Magazine, on July 29, 2008, the Prince George's County Police delivered a package containing 32 pounds of marijuana to the home of Cheye and Trinity Calvo of Berwyn Heights, Maryland.
Let me repeat that: the POLICE delivered a package containing 32 pounds of marijuana to their home, and when the Calvos accepted the package, the SWAT Team broke down their door, shot their two dogs dead, handcuffed Cheye and Trinity and Trinity's mother Georgia, and forced them to kneel while they ransacked their home. They found no drugs, other than the package they themselves delivered. The police have never even apologized for their actions.
And here's the punchline: Cheye Calvo is the MAYOR of Berwyn Heights!
The Prince George's County Police could have notified the local police chief that a raid was about to take place, as a courtesy. If they had, he could have informed them that Mr. Calvo was the mayor of Berwyn Heights, and come along to ensure that everything went peacefully. They didn't bother. Later the Calvos learned that a common tactic among drug dealers is to mail packages of drugs to unsuspecting citizens and then to try to intercept the package before it arrived. Someone had send a package of marijuana to the Calvos, without their knowledge, and on that basis the police decided to stage this armed home invasion.
I've read too many stories like this one, about the drug police breaking into the wrong house and bullying and terrorizing and humiliating the law-abiding citizens therein. This is something that could have happen to any of us. None of us are safe.
Does anyone think it’s a coincidence that we have this incredibly destructive War on Drugs at the same we are all the targets of a multibillion-dollar propagand campaign to get us all addicted to as many kinds of drugs as possible? There's a lot of money at stake here. And the big pharmaceutical companies are no different from the street corner drug dealers -- they hate competition, and they have their armed enforcers to keep competitors off their turf.
Hell, come to think of it, even the street corner drug dealers work hand in hand with the police to keep out the carpetbaggers. The drug police and the drug cartels have come to resemble nothing so much as two warring armies who long ago forgot what they were fighting over and have devolved into looting and terrorizing the populace. The final step in this process is exemplified by Robert A. Simels, a former Assistant US Attorney who styles himself “The Rolls-Royce of Defense Attorneys” and has represented some of Baltimore's most notorious underworld figures. He is now accused by the feds of threatening witnesses on behalf of a Guyanese drug lord. Like the buccaneers of some bygone era, the warriors in this endless conflict owe their allegiance to none save the highest bidder. And the rest of us are caught in the crossfire, like it or not.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons