Last August, I blogged at RLC.org about
sitting at home when a SWAT team barged into his home, shot his two dogs, and accused him of being a drug dealer. Calvo and his mother-in-law were handcuffed and interrogated for hours while surrounded by the dogs’ carcasses and pools of blood.
Police shot the Mayor’s seven-year-old black Labrador retriever, Payton, near the front door and then his four-year-old dog, Chase, also a black Lab, as the dog ran into a back room.
It became quite clear to everyone almost after-the-fact that the Mayor and his family were not drug dealers and Calvo says that he doesn’t even think the police considered that possibility before raiding the home.
Recently, the Maryland legislature passed a bill that was inspired by the SWAT team raid of Calvo’s home, called HB 1267, on SWAT Team Activation and Deployment Reporting.
The bill, also signed by Governor Martin O’Malley (D-Baltimore), requires any police agency in the state to review and report on SWAT team raids every six months. It also requires specifics about any raid, such as the reason for the deployment of the SWAT team, the legal authority for the SWAT raid, and the result of each activation and deployment. Law enforcement agencies also have to report on whether a weapon was discharged by a SWAT team member, a forcible entry was made, or whether any person or domestic animal was injured or killed by a SWAT team member.
If local police agencies do not comply, then they will be reported to the Governor and the Legislative Policy Committee of the General Assembly.
This legislation will hopefully prevent future unncessary police raids on citizen’s homes.
The Mayor and his wife, with their now-deceased dogs.