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Cops Bust Into Mayor's Home, Shoot Dogs ... Was it a Set-Up?

This is why the 4th Amendment is so important ...
 
 
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...and why the Bush Administration's treating the Constitution like "just a goddamn piece of paper" is so troubling: because "If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to worry about" often is not the case, as the mayor of Berwin Heights, Maryland found out recently.

I first found out about this story via Eric Rice, whose blog began with his efforts to help the dogs left behind in New Orleans in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina struck. But while initial coverage painted this as a drug bust, the truth is much darker:

Mayor Cheye Calvo got home from work, saw a package addressed to his wife on the front porch and brought it inside, putting it on a table.

Suddenly, police with guns drawn kicked in the door and stormed in, shooting to death the couple's two dogs and seizing the unopened package.

In it were 32 pounds of marijuana. But the drugs evidently didn't belong to the couple.

Police say the couple appeared to be innocent victims of a scheme by two men to smuggle millions of dollars worth of marijuana by having it delivered to about a half-dozen unsuspecting recipients.

The two men under arrest include a FedEx deliveryman; investigators said the deliveryman would drop off a package outside a home, and the other man would come by a short time later and pick it up.

Now, federal authorities say they're looking into how local law enforcement handled the July 29 raid. FBI Agent Rich Wolf said late Thursday that the bureau had opened a civil rights investigation into the case.

A furious Calvo said earlier Thursday that he and his wife, Trinity Tomsic, had asked the government to investigate.

"Trinity was an innocent victim and random victim," Calvo said outside his two-story, red-brick house in this middle-class Washington suburb of about 3,000 people. "We were harmed by the very people who took an oath to protect us."

Calvo insisted the couple's two black Labradors were gentle creatures and said police apparently killed them "for sport," gunning down one of them as it was running away.

Jill Hussein C. blogs at Brilliant at Breakfast .

 
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