Sunday, August 10, 2008

Police shoot two Labs during botched drug bust

I know this doesn't involve pit bulls or other maligned breeds nor does it really have anything to do with BSL, but it is a disturbing story out of Prince George County, Maryland where two Labrador Retrievers were brutally shot to death by police raiding the home of innocent Mayor Cheye Calvo, his wife and mother. According to the family, one of the Labs was actually running away before being shot to death. The Calvos were guilty of nothing.

Supposedly, PG police had a "no knock" warrant allowing them to bust down a door with guns blazing. Turns out they didn't.

Given the aforementioned malfeasance by Prince George’s County officers, it should come as no surprise, then, that authorities didn’t even have a "no-knock" warrant when they raided Cheye Calvo’s house, despite claims to the contrary by department spokesmen at the time of the incident. In fact, according to the Washington Post, "a review of the warrant indicates that police neither sought nor received permission from Circuit Court Judge Albert W. Northrup to enter without knocking," and that "Northrup found probable cause to suspect that drugs might be in the house and granted police a standard search warrant."
That’s right; not only was the assault on the mayor’s house immoral, it was also illegal.
Less than a year ago, Prince George County police made a similar mistake, raiding the wrong address and killing a confined dog in the backyard.

Police shooting dogs isn't anything new. Just yesterday, I posted this story yesterday involving a confined dog being shot by police in the head mere feet from the showering owner.

The linked article provides other examples of humans and dogs being victims of the "war on drugs" and the heavy-handed policing tactics now used.

All three cases show a desperate need for proper training on how to handle dogs and maybe some sensitivity training on how to handle families whose beloved companions have been brutally killed. While being safe is important, a sobbing individual who just wants to cradle their dying dog is hardly a menace to society (I can't see when I cry or breath very well, let alone try and take out an entire swat team).

What's scary is this: You and I are not exempt from drug raids. Our civil liberties and rights have been so eroded that a "crimestoppers tip" could result in police breaking down your door with a "no knock" warrant and shooting your dogs. Or your kids. Or you if, out of utter fear, you tried to protect your property. Confiscating drugs is all fine and dandy, but a few pounds of pot (or any drug) is not worth the deaths of humans or dogs. It just isn't.

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