Saturday, September 14, 2013

you remember chase and payton?

Chase and Payton when it was news.
truthout | Berwyn Heights officer Amir Johnson knew this was his mayor’s house, but had no idea what the commotion was about because the Prince George’s County Police Department hadn’t bothered to contact the Berwyn Heights police chief, as they were required to do under a memorandum of understanding between the two agencies. Johnson told the Washington Post that an officer at the scene told him, “The guy in there is crazy. He says he is the mayor of Berwyn Heights.”
Johnson replied, “That is the mayor of Berwyn Heights.”

Johnson then called Berwyn Heights police chief Patrick Murphy. Eventually, Murphy was put in touch with the supervising officer, Det. Sgt. David Martini. Murphy recounted the conversation to the Post: “Martini tells me that when the SWAT team came to the door, the mayor met them at the door, opened it partially, saw who it was, and then tried to slam the door on them,” Murphy recalled. “And that at that point, Martini claimed, they had to force entry, the dogs took aggressive stances, and they were shot.”

If that indeed was what Martini told Murphy, he was either lying or repeating a lie told to him by one of his subordinates. There was never any further mention of Calvo shutting the door on the SWAT team - because it never happened. Calvo later had his dogs autopsied - the trajectories the bullets took through the dogs’ bodies weren’t consistent with the SWAT team’s story.

But the lies, obfuscations, and stonewalling were only beginning.

The police department would first claim that they had obtained a no-knock warrant for the raid. They then backtracked and blamed Calvo’s mother-in-law, arguing that when her scream blew their cover, they were no longer obligated to knock and announce themselves. (This was an interesting theory, given that the knock-and-announce requirement, by definition, would have required them to blow their own cover. That’s the point of the requirement.) Maj. Mark Magaw, commander of the Prince George’s County narcotics enforcement division, claimed that the SWAT team couldn’t have obtained a no-knock warrant if they had wanted to, because the state of Maryland doesn’t allow them. This too was false. The state had passed a bill allowing for no-knock warrants in 2005. It’s the sort of law that one would think would have a day-to-day impact on the drug unit of a police department that conducts several raids each week. Yet the head narcotics unit in Prince George’s County was completely ignorant of it. Three years later, Magaw would be promoted to Prince George’s County police chief.

The affidavit for the search warrant was prepared by Det. Shawn Scarlata. It is incredibly thin. In a few paragraphs, Scarlata relates that he intercepted a FedEx package containing thirty-two pounds of marijuana at one of the company’s warehouses. The package was addressed to Trinity Tomsic at her home address. A police officer disguised as a delivery man then took the package to Calvo’s house, where it was accepted by Georgia Porter. There was also a one-paragraph description of Calvo’s home. That’s the only information in the warrant specific to Calvo and his family. The remainder of the six-page affidavit is a cut-and-paste recitation of Scarlata’s training, qualifications, and assumptions he felt he could make based on his experience as a narcotics officer. As Calvo described the warrant in an online chat, “It talks about all the stuff a drug trafficker should have in his or her home and then says something like, ‘Although we know that the police have no evidence of these things, they can be inferred from the very nature of the charge.’ It is circular reasoning that says because we are suspicious of you, there must be evidence of your guilt.”

On August 7, police arrested a FedEx driver and an accomplice and charged them with various crimes related to drug trafficking. Trinity Tomsic was never supposed to receive that package of marijuana. A drug distributor in Arizona had used her address to get the package into the general Prince George’s County area, at which point an accomplice working for the delivery company was supposed to intercept it. The police had found several similar packages. Worse, county police knew the scheme was going on and knew some packages had been delivered to residences unbeknownst to the people who lived in them. The Washington Post reported a couple of months later on cases in which innocent people had been arrested. “Defense lawyers who practice in the county said authorities appear to arrest and charge anyone who picks up a package containing marijuana without conducting a further investigation,” the Post reported. “The more I think about that, the angrier I get,” Calvo later told Post columnist Marc Fisher. “They knew this scheme was going on, yet it never occurred to them from the moment they found out about that package that we were anything but drug dealers.”

3 comments:

makheru bradley said...

Off topic but in the same vein in the sense that a militarized police force needs prosecutors with the same mentality.

[Dr. Shiping Bao, the Volusia County medical examiner who was in charge of handling slain-teenager Trayvon Martin's body in February 2012, has come out and claimed that the prosecution team was biased against the African-American teenager, and intentionally lost the case. According to Bao's attorney, Willie Gary, the medical examiner's office, the state attorney's office and the Sanford Police's "general attitude was that [Martin] got what he deserved. He was in essence told to zip his lips. 'Shut up. Don't say those things.'" Dr. Bao is speaking out in the wake of having been fired from the m.e.'s office, and is planning a $100 million lawsuit against the State of Florida.

According to the former assistant coroner, the results of Martin's autopsy clearly showed that, despite Zimmerman's statements regarding their altercation, there was no feasible way for Martin to have been on top of Zimmerman when the gun was fired, because the bullet entered Martin's back.]

http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/trayvon-martins-medical-examiner-prosecution-threw-case

CNu said...

This is not off-topic at all Bro.Makheru. Matter fact, it could not be more on point. But what are we to make of the terminated and now litigious Dr. Bao - having sought out and obtained the counsel of the mighty Willie Gary? What does it say about the generalized "terror of our situation" when a life takes back seat to the comfort of "go along to get along" job security? What does it say about the "terror of our situation" when one of the major trial dramatists of the present era (Msr Gary Esq.) elects to go-in for the prospect of a $33 Million plus payday?


Everybody in this is dirty. No exceptions.



Edmund Burke said it best in his Thoughts on the Cause of Present Discontents (1770): "When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."

most commonly paraphrased: All that needs to be done for evil to prevail is that good people do nothing.


You think that's a photoshop in the picture I chose for this article, or you think granny bout that life?

CNu said...

Yeah, granny's been enjoying those cookies since you and I were knee-high to grasshoppers...,