SWAT team raids mayor, shoots family dog because someone mailed them pot

Danny sez,
Cheye Calvo, mayor of DC suburb Berwyn Heights, was raided by a SWAT team after 30lbs of marijuana was delivered to his home. They broke down his door, shot his two black labradors, and interrogated him and his wife as their dogs bled to death.

Turns out Calvo says he had no idea about the package, which was still outside, unopened and perhaps waiting for its real recipient to pick it up. Police say they still had sufficient cause to break in (even though they did not have a "no-knock warrant").

Another Police Raid; More Dead Dogs (Thanks, Danny!)


  1. It’s the trickle down effect from Guantanamo.

    The sanctioning of brutality from the top, and an attitude that says “we can do whatever the **** we want because this is drugs/terrorism, and therefore REALLY important” add up to a slippery slope to a police state.

  2. If that Chapelle skit of the white-collar embezzler being treated as a drug offender is any indication, shooting dogs seems the modus of extralegal drug busts.

  3. The whole story is never told on the internet.

    The mayor’s wife ordered the pot. She’s a dealer. The cops raided the place because they were doing what’s called a “sting operation”.Nt sr f y gys hv ny d bt rlty r nt. ‘v bn rdng BB frvr nd lv y gys, bt sht lk ths s s snstnlst. grnt ‘d nvr rd nythng bt th cps dng nythng bfb.

  4. so if this happens to enough high up people, perhaps senators, i bet they’ll be some policy change pretty quickly

  5. Zyklon, I’m sorry you’re not happy with this story. It seems you have some special insight into this fiasco so you’ll have to forgive me. Are you saying that the search warrant in question was executed correctly?

  6. #2

    “The package was addressed to Trinity Tomsic, Calvo’s wife. But law enforcement sources said last week that they are now investigating the possibility that the mayor and his wife were unwitting recipients and that a deliveryman might have intended to intercept the package as part of a drug smuggling scheme.”
    Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/03/AR2008080301636.html

    This is the only explanation I’ve seen anywhere. Is there other information you’re privvy to? Please share!

    Also, would you expect a story about police successfully catching a small-time drug dealer to get more press then this one ANYWHERE?

  7. Zyklon, not sure if your post was in sarcasm or not but you did read the Washington Post article linked on the Cato page right?

    After the raid, police found the unopened package, containing 32 pounds of marijuana, in the house. According to law enforcement sources, police are investigating whether a deliveryman might have been the intended recipient of the package instead of Calvo or his wife. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because the case is open.

  8. Zyklon, slanderer of innocents.
    Zyklon, defender of dog-destroying police.
    Zyklon, insulter of Boing Boing community.

  9. They killed his two dogs, ans they will get away with that? What kind of banana republic is this?

  10. Cory, I’ve heard elsewhere that the box was brought inside the house when the raid occurred. Might want to change that in your blurb, though it isn’t of importance to our discussion.

    Other fun bits involved include failure of interdepartmental communication, the regular police having no clue the mayor was to be raided. I think it’s crazy that SWAT teams were involved, but with that amount of pot they legally HAD to be.

  11. Some would say, “Well, they must have shook hands with the wrong kind of person to have their address known by some evildoers. Serves them right for having a mailbox. Anything the Police State does is always right forever.”
    I say I like dogs.

  12. @Mattf Thanks for posting the link to the story… This was on page 2:

    “In some quarters, this has been viewed as a flawed police operation and an attack on the mayor, which it is not,” High said. “This was about an address, this was about a name on a package . . . and, in fact, our people did not know that this was the home of the mayor and his family until after the fact.”

    Drug delivery man leaves a trail of packages all over a delivery route and the SWAT doesn’t try to figure out who is who before the come in with guns blazing?

    Even though they had the names when the packages were picked up in Arizona?

    Let’s say the mayor really is involved. Wouldn’t you want procedures followed to the T to make sure you didn’t blow the court case?

    What a bunch of clowns.

  13. Maybe this police force does not like this mayor, wanted to generate some bad publicity for him, it is not like the Mayor did anything at all, now his dogs are dead, and the cops are laughing.

  14. You know a really good way to make lots of people HATE you? Shoot dogs for no reason during a raid that may well be a false alarm. Good job, guys. Keep up the good work.

  15. I am very glad I don’t live in the US…

    What gives anyone the right to do this, let alone a government. Bush has just said how bad human rights in China are and in his own backyard (litterally), it’s just as bad.

  16. Zyklon- Are you going to back you story up with references? Oh but you don’t get the whole story on teh interweb do you? Where did you get this? one of yer buddies in the bar? local shock jock? just made it up with the power of yer own mind? We (I)would like to know or are you just as nasty and poisonous as your namesake?

  17. “Zyklon”?….hhhmm, interesting name choice. Let me guess, in addition to be a dog hating cop-loving troll you are also an Anti-Semite? Thought so.

  18. Is there any way to donate to help the Calvo/Tomsic’s sue the police?

    At the very least, they deserve to be compensated for their pets (I think $50,000 each is a good place to start) to clean and repair their home, as well as punitive damages from the jack-booted thugs called Police.

  19. #10 Well alot has changed over the years. PG county police had a bad record. In the old days, their reputation was *blam* *blam* *blam* *blam* *blam* *blam* *click* *click* “FREEZE!” Nowadays that would never happen. They have automatics.

  20. #23 Yeah turn the other cheek…but I do not like being on the receiving end of an trollish insult directed at a group (and apparently based on lies) this early in the AM…but the name’s a giveaway,huh? “Zyklon”, indeed. Going after the whole group….

  21. #18: Nothing gives them the right but their judges allow it anyway.
    The USA no longer has a Justice system…only a legal system.

  22. I don’t get why it’s worth any kind of a “raid” when pot is involved. Just walk up to the house in daylight with two cops, knock on the door and walk the person away calmly. It’s that easy.

    I have zero respect for law enforcement that feels the need to shoot a lab. If they can’t deal with a good licking and tossing a ball around the back yard, they shouldn’t be allowed to carry a gun in the first place!

  23. (Reverse troll) Hey the Mayor works for a Social Group helping the poor…no wonder the cops killed his dogs. Kinda like El Salvador of 1981…

  24. Hey people, what is wrong with you? I am still waiting for the usual phrases:
    – “were are not getting the whole story here”
    – “something smells fishy”
    – “their own fault. when a cop orders you to do something, you comply”
    On second thought: A young, WASP, married mayor!? Makes you wonder what would have happened if he were poor, black and unemployed.

  25. According to my reading of the equal protection clause of the US constitution police are not special or different from any other citizen (creating problems with cop killer laws). High speed chases and no knock entries would end if more cops would meet a bitter end from them, but most cops love they hyper-agression involved. I am all for disarming the police like the English did, although now there are many firearm officers ruining the system. A seige would have worked just fine, or catch them by surprise out by the car or work. Any sane person would shoot at a no knock entry, there is every reason to suspect that the thugs entering are not agents of the police state.
    I was on a SERT team as a paramedic when I was more naive, and even if it is a drug dealer the damage to the kids inside seeing terrible bad men beat and take their father and mother away is just begging them to become some kind of home grown insurgent when they grow up or somthing else sick in the head. I had to quit the team after a few months.
    I am not the first but WTF Zyklon, yes you say it just means cyclone in German but signing up on an English website where we all know it is about Zyklon-B made by BASF for the Nazi German Jew killing machine.

  26. Thank goodness they shot those dogs, though.

    Black Labs are, after all, notorious for their vicious temperament and fondness for PCP.

  27. America, guilty until proven otherwise. If the government treated us like we were actually innocent then we might not be scared of them, and who wants that?

    I’m guessing this goes into the “How the war on drugs is hurting America” file.

  28. God, how upsetting. I would probably have PTSD forever after seeing my pets shot in front of me. Knowing the situation, you’d probably not even be able to comfort them in their dying throes, what with the gun against the back of your head and your face on the floor.

    I hope there’s big time compensation for these people, though I also know it will never be enough to replace that which has been lost. :(

  29. Don’t listen to this Zylkon jackass. They arrested the people who were actually responsible.

    Prince George’s County police announced yesterday that they have arrested a deliveryman and another man who they say are involved in a scheme to smuggle marijuana by shipping packages addressed to unsuspecting recipients, including a delivery last week to the wife of the mayor of Berwyn Heights.


  30. Well, that’s one way to get rid of a neighbor’s annoying barking dogs. I still think “asking nicely” might be a better course of action though.

  31. What this SWAT team did is the work of Blackwater and the US Marines not police work.
    All they did by storming the house immediately was to prove that some one will pick up a package with their name on it, a charge that wont hold up in court, and one big lawsuit.
    Real police work would have had the cops knowing that this was the mayor, so immediately we have either a mix up, a set up, or a major scandal. A single detective could have survieled the house the to see if after the package was received if any drug distribution like activity was going on. It’s called building a case, and if the Calvos really are pot dealers then the cops would have their nice bust, now they have a law suit.
    IF they waited one hour they probably would have gotten a call from the mayor saying someone sent him 30 pounds of pot and how can he help catch the sender.

  32. I’m not a big fan of the War On Drugs and would be much happier if weed were legalized. Hell, I’ve never taken anything stronger than my regular margarita hold the sour mix, but I wouldn’t mind seeing all recreational drugs decriminalized for adults.

    *BUT* so long as society as a whole believes it is a major problem and have rewarded police agencies for using these tactics, until the laws change I can’t see blaming the police for doing what they’ve been tasked to do.

    I know when I had a crackdealer squatting in the house next to mine, I fully supported the ‘no-knock warrant’…again, I don’t care about the drugs, but care more for the entire criminal enterprise that these people setup. Guns coming in and out. People always trying to break into the wrong house (mine) to get to the drugs. All that. Heck, I called the police and let them know the schedules of those going in and out…so in some ways, I’m part of the problem.

    Most people involved in the DISTRIBUTION (emphasized because I don’t want this confused with the consumption of) of drugs are violent and use violent ways. Until we get rid of the laws, the only way for police to do their jobs will be to do so violently.

    BTW — Even a warranted search, someone cuffing me and searching my home would be enough for ANY of my dogs to try to kill those hurting me. I’ve had to hold my dogs down in the past when people have made threatening movements towards me. This is normal dog activity to protect its owners even at the cost of its own life. What would you have a police officer do that was being attacked?

  33. It’s just some pot (OK, a lot).

    Pot makes you giggle, and then go to sleep.

    If the drug supplying system is criminalized and dangerous enough to require a SWAT team with automatic weapons to go knock on a door, then I suggest the problem lies in the anti-drug laws. They are insane, and unsustainable.

    Future generations will look back on this as every bit as nutty as we do depression-era prohibition.

    And, no, I don’t smoke pot. I don’t like it.

  34. #30: Check out the second comment on this thread…did not take long at all…as if someone were waiting…to manage our opinions.

  35. #28 & #40:

    The types of people who take delivery of pot in the tens of pounds usually aren’t the kind of people who smoke it. They’re the types of people who just finished a line of coke, and are paranoid that somebody is going to steal the brick of pot they invested half of their life savings in, so they sit facing the door with a gun in their hands and do another line of coke when they start getting to tired to point the gun in that general direction. Then, when their shift at the convenience store starts, they go to “work” and sell the pot to teenagers.

    One such person was the scariest roommate I ever had.

  36. #35 I like the sentiment, but they have their own curriers.

    More to the topic, maybe we need more government officials and lawmakers to experience this kind of excessive force and stupidity in order to get some rational changes made.

    I live in Los Angeles, where the police force is modeled on the marines, where they have been using a tank to break down doors for over twenty years, and where someone getting shot in a raid on the wrong address given by a confidential informant is barely newsworthy. It has been interesting to me to see how drug enforcement has been used as an excuse to escalate tactics used by police across the country, ever since the CIA helped bring crack into my fair city.

    Anyway, my hope is that this guy becomes Calvo guy stays angry, and becomes an activist on this issue.

  37. Just so everybody doesn’t think my previous comment was meant as justification for the actions of these officers, BTW, I certainly think they should go to jail. They’re clearly guilty of animal cruelty, violation of this couple’s right to due process, illegal search, etc. Shooting those dogs was essentially carrying out a sentence against them without a trial. Busting in without a warrant? Ridiculous.

    However, they should also have their sentences severely reduced if they give up their boss who ordered the raid to occur in that fashion.

  38. How could anyone shoot those nice dogs? I’m sickened by this. If someone shot my dog…This is soo horrible. This is what a manupulated culture allows, one that’s bought into the fed bullshit War on Drugs.

  39. Wow, that is such a painful story. If the police murdered my dogs like that, I would pull a Rambo and go on a killing spree in revenge.

    I hope the cops who did such a heartless and vicious thing are fired and driven out of town in disgrace.

    And yes – I’m glad I live in Canada. Not that our cops are perfect or anything.

  40. I’ve been saying this for a long time….people don’t realize how many civil rights we have given up in the past 7 years in the response to terrorism. This isn’t isolated, look at the TSA and innocent picture taking stories on BB.

  41. Kay, I found myself saying the same thing. Which I know in not the right response. I mean, I should not want to kill someone. But if they shot my dog right in front of me I think I would kill them.

  42. From the Washington Post article on the raid:

    But a review of the warrant indicates that police neither sought nor received permission from Circuit Court Judge Albert W. Northrup to enter without knocking. Northrup found probable cause to suspect that drugs might be in the house and granted police a standard search warrant.

    And a further description from a Post editorial:

    “Without bothering to alert Berwyn Heights police, sheriff’s deputies moved into position. Posing as a deliveryman, a deputy took the package to the family’s door. After Mr. Calvo’s mother-in-law initially refused to sign for it, the package was finally taken into the home, where it sat, unopened, on the living room floor. Whereupon the deputies, guns drawn, kicked in the door, stormed the house and shot to death the Calvos’ two Labrador retrievers, one of them, apparently, as it attempted to flee. The canine threat thus dispatched, the mayor — in his briefs — and his mother-in-law were handcuffed and interrogated in close proximity to the bloodied corpses of their dogs.”

  43. Zyklon: For someone who complained in a previous thread about being thrown down on when you refused a random search, you sure are quick to stand up for the Man.

  44. A sickening story. I hope these people get a large and generous settlement from the idiots responsible. And then I hope they donate the money to NORML.
    Incidentally, “no knock” was a Nixonian policy. He may be dead, but he’s still our president.

  45. This is a horrendous and bizarre situation. I am surprised no one has referenced the Dave Chapelle skit where he shows what would happen if drug dealers were treated like Corporate Executives when they were busted and vice versa. Life imitating art and all that. The irony is the complete lack of racial profiling here. If this thing can happen in affluent suburbs to white people then we are all truly fracked.

  46. Apparently someone forgot to set their phaser to stun…

    And I’m amazed at the fact everyone cares more about the dogs than they do 32 lbs of pot?! 32 LBS, that’s not exactly a trivial amount. Sure it’s not like a major raid or anything, but still, that didn’t just cost a couple hundred to send.

    If it was a frame up, seems mighty expensive… or it came from a relatively inexpensive source (like higher up the dealing chain).

  47. #55: Yeah it ain’t no problem until it happens to you and yours, huh?
    If you’re safe, screw the rest, huh?

  48. #56: If pot were legal 32 lbs. would be less than nothing…what is the penalty in DC currently for this “large” amount? life withoput parole? All property seized, kids taken away, etc?
    “Justice” indeed….

  49. Cops shooting dogs immediately upon breaking into a place is becoming standard procedure.

  50. #50: In all honesty this looks like a police set-up to neutralize somebody whose politics are unacceptable to the Prosecutors…who would that be? A Repub appointee? A “political” Repub appointee?

  51. #17

    May be the Mayor wanted to trim some fat from the Police Budget….

    Well, if he didn’t before, I bet he does now.

  52. So they *didn’t* have a no-knock warrant?

    …because if that’s the case, the SWAT team has committed a crime. They’ve also destroyed a citizen’s property during the commission of that crime. Why aren’t they fired, stripped of their benefits and pensions and on their way to jail?

  53. #43: Just because the people you know are standard-lets-hurt-other-people, cops-are-violent-I’ll-fight-back, criminals…any of the ‘facts” you relate have anything at all to do with this case?
    You sound like a paid informant…

  54. I few thoughts:

    1) What do you expect from a person who’s name is Zyklon? (Why did he drop the “B”?)

    2) Time to pass the had and mail “W” some smack.

    3) The poor dogs were smarter than the cops.

    4) How on earth was this level of stupidity necessary for 32#s of pot?

  55. #43 posted by ivan256

    If you read my whole post, not just the first few lines, you’ll see that I was pointing out that it’s the criminalization of more-or-less harmless pot that creates a violent criminal class, who then need to be dealt with via machine guns, tanks and all the rest of it.

    I fully understand why the police might think they need to go in with guns blazing, if they think they are walking into a major drugs-running operation. Not excusing it – they are obviously a bunch of out-of-control goons, and they should go to jail themselves.

    But –

    The solution is: Legalize it. Control it. Make tax money off it. Stop breeding drugs dealers and pouring money and lives down the drain in pursuit of this absurd “war on drugs”.

  56. history note: the first human fatalities from the use of Cyclone “B” pesticide were in the thirties and involved the deaths of Mexican labourers at the hands of American government officials.

    Regarding the use of force: it is a basic doctrine of democratic societies under the Rule of Law that force be proportional. You may not shoot a man for dropping a gum wrapper on your property. If you are attacked, you may not immediately open fire over the entire area with your legally owned machine gun.
    This is not a characteristic of societies under the Rule By Law (China for example).

    Which do you prefer: Rule Of Law? Or Rule By Law?

  57. This whole thing was a giant, unnecessary, authoritarian f*up. And it deserves news coverage and public outrage.

    Hopefully, the victim being an upper-middle class white dude who is mayor of his community will finally lead to policy changes on a larger level.

  58. #63: Yup. That’s right. I’m a narc. You wouldn’t happen to have consumed any substances that increase paranoia, have you?

    “lets-hurt-other-people”? “cops-are-violent-I’ll-fight-back”? Where do you come up with this stuff? It was more like “This is worth more money than the building it’s contained in, and people with guns probably know I have it”.

    Of course I’m such a paid informant that I turned the guy in… Oh wait… Actually he paid for his entire four years of college with that brick, and here I am ten years later still paying a quarter of my salary towards loans that the government decided they were going to break their promise to subsidize.

  59. #65: Your solution ignores the reason drugs are illegal in the first place. Namely that widespread use has a negative impact on the productivity of our society as a whole. There has to be some middle ground between the “war”, and the druggie society.

    I don’t know what it is though.

  60. I’m amazed noone has commented that the police officers in the newspaper story are called Chief Melvin High and Sheriff Michael Jackson?

  61. I hope to see this played out on an episode of Weeds next month! Seriously, my major concern is why police feel its necessary to use the SWAT team to arrest a pot dealer. SWAT should only be used when the police know that they are up against heavily armed individuals or gangs not for every day arrests. I want our police to be protected but if we continue to send in para military style raids for every little infraction then it won’t be too long before 5 men with machine guns will surround you the next time you complain about being overcharged at Best Buy!

  62. I sincerely hope that all involved in this raid – at every level are shown the door and have criminal charges brought against them. This type of behavior needs to be taken care of now before they start breaking in and shooting more than just dogs.

    This is a prime example of law enforcement over stepping their boundaries again. It happens far too often, especially in this day and age where we’ve had our rights and freedoms stripped away.

  63. Dear Ivan

    Alcohol has a huge negative impact on social productivity. The horrors it engenders could be listed endlessly. They tried prohibition and spawned the Mafia. Is our current situation a middle ground?

  64. #68: Where I come from the handgun, on its own, merits extreme action by law enforcement. Under our Laws. And I agree with those Laws.
    I have never personally seen anyone with a handgun.
    If I do I will immediately call the Police.
    It’s the guns that hurt and kill, not the dope….it’s ignorance about dope that does the hurting and killing in its case…such ignorance must be fought (not added to). Guns have nothing to do with dope. It’s your savage drug laws and insane gun laws that force them into the same bed.
    Amend your Constitution to remove the pernicious interpretations given to outmoded and obsolete provisions which serve to drastically increase the level and amount of violence in your Society…unless you want the violent to run things…as they apparently do now, in the USA. Remind me again, where has the US Fed Gov most increased spending in the last 10 years?

  65. @#48:

    Not disagreeing that the last 7 years have been bad, but this sort of raid is nothing new AT ALL. The war on drugs is comparatively peaceful compared to the crap going on under Reagan and Bush I.

    And you want to talk about civic rights violations? Look at US history (see: sedition act, japanese interment, the great railroad strike, slavery, etc).

    We’re going through a bad phase, but we’ve been in bad places before. That doesn’t mean people shouldn’t be pissed off and doing everything they can to oust this administration (peacefully and legally), but it’s comforting to know that this will probably pass…

  66. #65: “Control”… By whom? Why?
    #69: Wrong in fact, that’s not the reason why they were made illegal.
    Anyway who got to decide that a “more productive society” trumps personal freedom and the pursuit of happiness? Have I missed a debate?
    And “productive” of what? More jails and inmates? Foreclosed mortgages? Destroyed Nations?
    How does “more production” as a desiderata jibe with personal freedom, anyway?
    Isn’t “more efficient production” what the RIAA et al are fighting against?
    I have a simpler cheaper better idea.
    Why don’t y’all leave us all alone, now, you hear?
    I haven’t signed up for the “production” line…perhaps we should discuss what is expected of us by our better, smarter citizens…

  67. Sorry, but that whole situation is just wrong. It needs to be examined and re-examined and the responsible parties (the police) need to learn and act upon their mistakes.

  68. #62, there used to be a Constitutional requirement that police either (a) knock and announce when executing a warrant, or (b) get a special no-knock warrant on a showing that knocking and announcing would be dangerous.

    The Supreme Court got rid of that in 2006. The case is Hudson v. Michigan, 547 U.S. ___ (2006). Knock and announce is no longer required. Police can enter without knock and announce, even without a special showing.

    Scalia wrote the opinion. Big shocker.

  69. #74: Currently alcohol is illegal to possess or consume for 25% of your life by age on average, in many locations illegal to receive by mail, illegal to possess in an open container in a vehicle (with the same consequences as having some pot in your car in many places)… In addition it’s illegal to be under the effects of alcohol in public, while driving, and, in many cases, at work. In the cases where alcohol is not illegal, it is highly regulated in terms of what form it can be sold in, what strengths it is available in, and where you can purchase it.

    Despite all of that, it still causes family, work, interpersonal, health, and traffic related issues, violence, and deaths.

    So, are you really trying to say it’s a good idea to treat THC the same way we treat alcohol legally? Or that I’m wrong to argue that it shouldn’t be outright legalized?

    Yes. I’d say the situation with alcohol is a middle ground. I wouldn’t necessarily say that it is the ideal middle ground, but we arrived at it out of necessity due to the widespread cultural significance of alcohol in our society. THC, and the various forms it comes in, do *not* have even close to the same level of cultural significance as alcohol, and given the failings of the compromise we have with alcohol I think it would be a bad idea to use a similar model.

    As I said originally. I don’t know what the right middle ground is. Legalizing it is the wrong thing to do. The war on it is the wrong thing to do.

  70. #77: Will gladly just leave you alone, if you revert to living in conditions that would be possible without the subsidies of the wealth created by people who don’t wander the streets saying “Damn, man, this shit is awesome“.

    If you’re not one of those people, and you do your thing in your own home, in responsible quantities, and then go about your daily business, nobody is bothering you right now anyway.

  71. #79: yes we know where the real problem is.
    #80: The same guy who opined in the Media that it would be “absurd” to outlaw torture.
    Two Supremes appointed by the Man who ordered people tortured unto death….sorry, not “people” but “enemy”…they aren’t “people” until Scalia gets to say his piece.
    I predict that in the future Scalia will be a very “distinguished” Judge…

  72. I contend cannabis does have cultural significance. The irony being that much of that cultural significance can be attributed to the attempts to suppress it.

  73. For those of you who missed the judge’s reasoning in granting the search warrant:

    Being /mailed/ a drug by someone who does not know you, whom you do not know, creates – somehow – /probable cause/ that /inside your home/, there are /more/ illegal drugs – without a single shred of reason or evidence that you have ever, in your life, bought, sold, possessed, used, or even /been within fifty meters/ of an illegal drug.



    “oh, it was all a mistake.”

    Our government was built on the notion that our justice system was to be /limited/ in its powers so that it could not be gamed like this.

    When it’s a major motion picture (“the Strangers”, “Se7en”), the scenario is horror. When it’s our government, somehow it’s good?

  74. #82:I do not propose the abolition of ordinances aimed at preserving Public Order.
    #81: THC and alcohol are markedly different in every respect and THC has not demonstrably shown either bio or socio perniciousness sufficient to warrant State intervention at any level whatsoever.
    The fact is the longer that weed stays completely illegal the clearer the evidence that Democracy is not functioning.

  75. #84: I contend that I never said cannabis didn’t have cultural significance, but instead that its significance was different than that which shaped our alcohol policies.

  76. #82: “Nobody is bothering you right now.”
    But that can change on the cops’ whim, right? Some get to live in fear, huh?
    Does it matter if I’m politically active? maybe so, huh?
    See my comment #57 above.
    Some of us care for the other people in our society, you know?
    The Drug laws are political laws. A club to use against those they disagree with and wish to disempower….


    “uh, we didn’t know it was the mayor until afterward”


    To quote:

    Publicly subsidised, privately profitable!

    That’s the anthem of the upper-tier (the puppeteer untouchable)

    We focus a moment, nod in approval –

    And bury our head back in the bar-codes of these neo-colonials.

    All kept in place by displaced government death squads.

    What is “class-war”?

    Is this class war?

    Yes, this is class war. And I’m just a kid- I can’t believe that I gotta worry about this kind of shit!

    Fuck this bullshit display of class loyalties.

  78. ok, obviously this is horrible. no arguing that. all the points on how horrible this is have been made for me. now let’s look on the bright side. this happened to someone who can do something about it. do you really think the mayor of this town is going to sit back and let this slide? oh hell no! i’m sure he knows at least one of the state’s congressmen personally. shit will be done to keep this from happening to other people.

  79. the WarOnSomeDrugs Industry is far too well entrenched to be shifted with reason and decency. Perhaps it is time to make it too expensive to be ignored. Remember that the last thing organized, violent crime wants is for pot to be legal. We need volunteer growers to start sending pot in the mail to appropriate targets. Maybe after a few billion spent in legal settlements they will reconsider if the DEA payroll and all the other related pork barrels is worth continuing. Of course they will find other corruption, but one battle at a time.

  80. #88: It’s not a matter of a ‘right’ to put that ‘if’ in there. It’s a matter of practical reality. After all, if everybody starts living that lifestyle, the ‘if’ becomes inevitable. I assume from your user name that you’re Canadian. Isn’t there an ethical problem with taking from a system that provides you with health care without contributing to said system?


    Good job reading my actual posts.

    Apparently if you argue for anything other than complete legalization, you’re for turning the screws on all pot users, and maintenance of the current regime? I’m not making the argument you seem to think I am, thus I really can’t continue to “debate” you on the subject.

  81. #80: IIRC Scalia did opine that where such a Warrant was “wrongfully” executed that the aggrieved Party could sue in Court for Damages.
    The Mayor will be paid, that’s for sure…as one dog was running away when it was shot.

  82. I hope they get disciplined for raiding someone’s house without a no-knock warrant over of a box of weed, and shooting 2 dogs for no reason.


    Maybe if they shot a baby in the head point-blank they would get a stern warning and a 2 week vacation.

  83. #90 said, “Yes, this is class war. And I’m just a kid- I can’t believe that I gotta worry about this kind of shit!”

    Just a kid? When do you think your awarness will be ready to absorb the truth? Obviously you’re already there, so don’t use your age as some sort of excuse. I’m just middle aged, but I don’t want to deal with it either! Nobody does, and that’s the problem.

  84. #90: You are corerect. The Marijuana Laws are political Laws, top to bottom. There is no “evil” or “wrong” for these Laws to address or remedy. to the extent that the Marijuana Laws lead to bad results, it is in every case the fault of the Law as it is.
    Repeal them.
    They are not demonstrably justifiable as limits on our Personal freedoms in a free and democratic society. Haven’t seen anything that even approaches an argument for making or keeping weed illegal.

  85. @#54 – quite right. these are taliban tactics.

    welcome to the united states of psychotica.

  86. so, instead ofpoisoning the neighbourhood dog I can just tip the police about a pot operation and they’ll go shoot it? cool!

  87. Shooting my dog would be almost the same as shooting my child.

    I feel the people responsible should face serious punishment.

  88. Over zealous and violent enforcement of the war on drugs isn’t anything new – it has been standard operating procedure for 10-20 years now – and often its not only dogs that get shot. As much as I hate post 9-11 BushCo Amerikkka, this has ben going on since Reagan – and only increased under Clinton.

    Ivan is a libertarian troll that evidently doesn’t even have enough gumption to go all the way libertarian.

  89. #94: We can disagree as to the nature of “practical reality”.
    You seem to think that everyone must go through the salt mines or else they do not understand “reality”.
    Here’s one of my axioms: You pay for everything you get.
    Leave my wealth out of it…the War on Marijuana has cost way more in lives lost and wasted to Society as a whole than you can claim it has “saved”, by ….maybe preventing some goofing off?
    Personally after my standard work-day I like to unwind…”It’s Miller Time!”…got any objections?
    And should I by luck have been born wealthy, I can’t smoke weed? Why not?
    Although if you are wealthy it is true that the Police have more reason to go after you for weed in order to take your assets for themselves…does not that impact badly on incentives to “produce”? eh what?

  90. #101: yeah i’m catching on what with the personal insults and all based on our sane health care system.
    We do pay our taxes,you know?

  91. What’s wrong with wandering the streets saying “damn this shit is awesome?” I make $100K/year, pay taxes out the ass, and find myself doing that from time to time.

    Pot is one of the first cultivated plants, among the first plants to be domesticated by humans. Genetic studies on various “wild” cannabis plants from around the world have shown that they all exhibit evidence of human breeding. It exists indigenously on every continent save for Antarctica.

    It has far GREATER cultural significance than alcohol, in that it was part of our agrarian revolution, when we went from being wandering foraging animals into basically, what we are now, a civilized agrarian and industrial society with the notions of property and law. It has been used for medicinal, spiritual and recreational purposes by humans ever since, well, humans.

    If pot were to be legalized, there wouldn’t be any increase in it’s use. There is no one today who says to themselves, “I’d sure love to try pot but it’s illegal so I won’t.” To argue that is absurd. Legalizing it wouldn’t make people smoke more than they already do either. The first few months post legalization might be a bit hazy, but anyone who already smokes pot does it to their satisfaction anyway.

    At risk of disenvoweling, Ivan, you are full of shit.

  92. Jeff:

    It’s a quote, from a relevant opinion, produced by a brown-skinned Los Angeleno who was describing the exact same kind of treatment of innocents in the name of Justice. He was a kid.

    The point of the allusion being, that this “legal” behaviour of the police doesn’t serve justice, and it doesn’t make a society where we can be confident that our lives will be able to be free from a government thug killing us, having wittingly or unwittingly mistaken us for an actual criminal. There is no point in them being civilly liable or even criminally liable – this situation should never be allowed to happen to anyone anywhere for any reason, and the only reason this is getting outrage and press coverage, the only reason anything might get done about this, is these people are white, privileged, and /might/ – //might// get some other privileged rich folks to realise that /it’s not just poor, distant, brown folks that can be victimised by this unconstitutional government thuggery/.

  93. Dog catchers figured out a long time ago how to safely capture dogs. Maybe a little cross training is in order. That’s probably not as much fun if you’re the kind of guy that likes to shoot dogs though…

  94. In related news Police disguised as backpackers were arresting a hash dealer in Freetown Christiania, Denmark when a 7 month old puppy got too close, the police gave a verbal warning to the owner but he was too late, moments later the police shot the puppy three times in the head and neck.

    This obviously got a lot of people very angry, and Christiania is now telling the Police to kindly f*** off.

    Link to Danish story (warning graphical shot of poor dead doggie)

    Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find any articles of this in English.

  95. Standard procedure in the land of the formerly free.

    “What the heck, just two dead dogs and a damaged door. They are lucky there were no Latinos or African Americans working around the house at that time. We would have showed them our new equipment and get the truth out of them.”

    Or so I imagine them think. Frightening to know our (financial, biometric, internet) data is their blood-stained hands.

  96. Pot laws bring the Administration of Justice into disrepute.
    This is an even worse effect than that upon the unfortunates prosecuted (and upon the Cops – thinking of the trauma cops go through shooting dogs kids etc.).
    They are corrosive of the System as a whole. Witness Ivan’s not-ratting of his gun-toting coke-dealing roommate. I take it that he felt that the penalties did not fit the crime.
    Where the Penalties exceed the Crime in the eyes of reasonable people then the Judges and the Law become suspect in the people’s eyes.
    This is NOT simply an “excessive” enforcement situation.
    The Laws relating to weed are simply unjust, in the classical sense of the word. Such Laws can never produce Justice, except wholly by accident. The type of situation in the article arises again and again. The reason for that?
    The Law itself is the problem, not the Cops.
    That Laws which can impact upon a Subject’s liberties to such a devastating extent are themselves the nexus of Partisan political debate … is shameful IMO. Particularly where one effect of the Law in question is the loss of the fundamental democratic right- – the right to vote.

  97. I bet you that is the last time that SWAT team ever goes in on a raid like that on anybody who isn’t poor or black.

  98. Governments that wnat to rule the populace ban and regulate things that people feel they need, this makes round about attacks of dissidents possible and instills a kind of rightous terror in the population. A government of the people allows them to have what they are entitled to have.

    Our laws were part of the Hearst newspaper empire newsworthy war on drugs still going after 100 years. We banned the “drug of the Mexican” marijuana, the “drug of the Negro” cocaine, the “drug of the Chinaman” opium, and the dumb superior Americans fell for it and dragged the whole world down with it. There was a time where you could buy pot for nausea, cocaine for a headache, or opium for a toothache at the barber shop, and people still saw their downfall primarily from liquor, what is the dangerous drug then?

    BTW labs can be protective when a mob of thugs break in and threaten the life of their family unit.

    Still the idea of risking the lives of officers and inhabitants just so evidence is not lost is insane, a home is a castle, unless there is evidence of a capital crime being comitted inside police or anyone else should not be allowed to enter EVER! The US constitution must to be ammended to include more clear text affirrmation of rights since the police now take so many liberties and the courts are so activist aginst the populace, a new balance must be struck.

  99. The point people seem to be missing with all this is that in their tiny minds, if the mayor HAD been dealing, these bozos were going straight up the career ladder on the back of a high-profile drugs case. This must have been so exciting that checking facts, due process etc. all went out the window.

    As for ‘now it’s happened to a politically connected rich WASP, maybe he’ll ensure it won’t happen to other people anymore!’, well, good luck with that. I’m of the opinion he’ll make damn sure it doesn’t happen to him again. Anything over that, weeeeeeell, I say doubtful. Not if he wants to keep playing politics.

  100. For #104

    “It has far GREATER cultural significance than alcohol”
    -Wrong! Alcohol is one of the first products made from harvested plants. The Goddess Nicasa, was a Summarian Goddess of beer, as far as I know there is no Summarian God/Goddess of Marry Jane.

  101. Someone needs to get this to the news outlets. There should be a public outcry about this.

    I am really in awe that our country cares more about a worthless football player, than something like their actual rights in this country quickly fading away.

    I am disgusted.

  102. How are the police stories getting even more ridiculous? I would kill the swat officers for shooting my dog and every single person involved in the decision… screw it, lets just follow the command structure upwards… we really need a good purge.

  103. You need to learn how to cultivate plants first, and learn how to harvest their fruit, before you can make a secondary product such as beer. Humans learned how to cultivate plants by domesticating cannabis. Cannabis came first.

  104. To add to above, Why was alcohol so important? For one, the calories from alcohol are far greater than that of bread or other staples. and Two; until the 20cen there was NO source of safe potable water in urban areas. Water was not safe to drink so the brewing of beer and vinting where very important not only for food but for health.

  105. @119
    all that is happening is that the tactics formerly used on the powerless in society are now being used on people who thought themselves safe because they were not indigent. The police have been given sanction to attack anyone. This is a deliberate message from your government.

  106. #95 good point – the decision only says that evidence seized without knock-&-announce can’t be suppressed. Victims can still sue for damages.

    Unfortunately, the possibility of suppression of evidence appears to be the only thing motivating police to act right (if you’re lucky). Civil damages have had approximately no effect in Los Angeles to curb police abuses (partially ’cause it’s not the officers themselves that pay the damages, but the city). You’d think the cities that get hit with million-dollar police abuse verdicts would do something to curb police abuse, but the incidence doesn’t seem to be affected.

  107. #122: NB no distilled alcohol existed prior to about 1200 AD.
    Penultimate thought: I am convinced usage would drop a lot ten-twenty years post-legalization.
    We are hard-wired to like “getting away with things”.
    If legal, that pleasure would vanish.
    My true feeling is that it would become unfashionable for many.
    Conversely many who otherwise would have no truck with reefer would find its medicinal use beneficial.
    The path of legalization would be less expensive for Society than the current situation, in about thirty different ways.
    Final thought: it should be decriminalized because most people want it so. Is that not a sufficient reason?

  108. …Of course, it’s mox nix whether the cops were in the right or not. Two *dogs* died. You don’t kill dogs trying to defend their owners and get away with it, no matter what the circumstances. We’re a nation of dog lovers, and despite the best efforts of the pit bulls, we’ll always side with the puppies when the deck is stacked against them.

    Bottom Line: expect at least four or five cops to suddenly find themselves out of jobs *and* pensions, and the entire police department getting a massive enema.

  109. they’ll use the proceeds-of-crime confiscation laws to bankrupt you before you can mount a legal challenge

  110. This illustrates the problem with no-knock warrants pretty well. And the problem with cops getting lazy and not doing their due diligence in “boring” surveillance and such, to make sure they have the right guy/gal.

    Unfortunately, until some police officers are killed doing something like this they’ll see no reason to make changes (if that was not the case then changes would already have been made, right?).

    And most law abiding people are not going to open fire on the police, or even on what might just maybe be the police. It would not even cross most people’s minds to do so. Because it’s all a just a mistake and will get cleared up shortly.

    It’s kinda a catch-22.

    And any fighting back that a law abiding citizen who was raided by mistake does will just get his, or her, ass killed. Or severely beaten, but I’d guess killed.

    The account I read said the Mayor was upstairs in his room undressing when his mother in law cried out that someone was busting in. As soon as the officers entered they began shooting the dogs. Now, if the Mayor had at that point grabbed his shotgun(*) and come downstairs what do you think would have happened? He’d’ve been killed by the first officer who saw him. Maybe the Mayor would’ve been “lucky” and killed or incapacitated the first one he saw, but the numbers are on the SWAT team’s side, and eventually he’d’ve been killed.

    If the Mayor did survive the encounter he’d be up on charges of killing/shooting a police officer. Even though when he did do that he had no indication that they were cops. After all, what reason would the police have to come busting through the door and start shooting? From his point of view they must be home invaders or gang bangers or really, really pissed off constituents. Think he’d get off with something less than life in prison?

    So yeah, @49 I can sympathize along with you and I, too, would want to kill the son of a bitch who shot my dog, but if something like this happens to you, you’re fucked. Shoot back and get killed or go to prison for life. Don’t shoot back and they might not actually be cops and might kill you. No good choices.

    * assuming that he had a gun, and that it and the ammo was readily available, and he was able to get to them quickly enough.

  111. #125: Give it time, and “victims” who’ve got the money to pursue their remedy. The Police Administrations will tighten up, hopefully.
    Like I said the Mayor shall be paid.

  112. #101: I don’t know what the first half of your comment has to do with the last.

    Apparently if you’ve got more centrist opinions it just means you don’t have enough “gumption” to be an extremist.

    #104: You’re rich, so you should be able to do whatever you want, and I’m the one who’s full of… Whatever.

    I guess #101 is right. I’m a troll. I should have just stayed out of it and left this thread to people who agree with each other.

  113. But think of the REAL victims… the courier and package delivery services. Their business will suffer! Now no one will want to accept a package, lest it result in pet-o-cide and the need for new doors. Oh, and a criminal record for life, after your home and all your assets have been seized… that is, if you weren’t shot or something.

    Joking aside… do you (boingers) think this will change package delivery protocols? Will Uncle Sam be more ‘interested’ in private courier companies and their cargo?

    As an aside, anyone remember Kelley Deal of the Breeders? She was involved in a sting where she accepted a UPS package of heroin. I think the UPS delivery person was an under-cover cop if I remember correctly. Oh, and no door knocked down, no dogs dead.

    One other thing no one has mentioned… why was the Mayor at home with his mother-in-law while he was ‘in his briefs’… that alone could explain why his wife’s name was on the pot. Someone knew something and was sending her a charity gift (just kidding).

    Oh, btw… for the posters that have said ‘they were only labs! OMG how could you shoot a lab?’… it’s not the dog breed that makes a dog dangerous or sweet, it’s the owners. As a child I was attacked three times by dogs (utterly unprovoked, in public parks). Bitten twice. Both bites were from labs. Remember, the only reason the labs you know are sweet is because the owners treat them well.

  114. #129: Here in Canada a man was recently acquitted – walked free – after shooting a “raiding” cop dead. There was a SWAT team involved, a night-time raid into a suburban house. He dropped his weapon immediately upon learning they were cops, his teenage boy had called 9-1-1 almost immediately upon the raid’s commencement, all the sound was recorded…
    Too lazy to look it up for you, but juries will acquit if there’s no dope found, it was at night, and the guy had good prior reason to fear some attack by other parties. Here in anti-gun Canada.
    That does not happen in the USA?

  115. Um – what the hell has ‘cultural significance’ got to do with a substance being legal or not?

    DMT has *no* cultural significance where I live…but I still don’t think the state should have the right to proscribe it. Same goes for a host of other drugs.

    That line of reasoning is simply faulty.

  116. “Your solution ignores the reason drugs are illegal in the first place. Namely that widespread use has a negative impact on the productivity of our society as a whole.”

    Exactly. How on earth can we compete with them stone-cold sober Chinese factory workers when we’re sitting around baked, making love and listening to Phish???

  117. Pot makes people lazy. Laziness is downright Un-American. For no other reason it should remain illegal.

    Then again, people who smoke tend to get fat. Obesity is American (well, middle-American).

    Tough call.

  118. @134, not quite the same, but read about this the other day:
    Lima, Ohio SWAT Officer Acquitted in the Killing of Tarika Wilson

    One of the cops in a raid on a drug dealer shot the guy’s dog. Hearing the gunshot, another cops opens fire on another room without bothering to see what’s in there and kills a woman and shoots her infant son. And the jury let him go. The gunshot he heard did not come from that room, and he had no business firing into it. None at all! He was trigger happy and killed a woman, and gets no punishment.

  119. Here’s a thought – refuse to convict anyone on drug charges. Jury nullification is a valid remedy to unjust laws. I spent a month on a grand jury doing just that (and getting into debates with my peers about it).

  120. They shot labradores?
    Has anyone in all human history ever been savaged by a labradore?

    Yes, and not just anyone but an innocent child. Raped. Humiliated.

  121. #141: I thought that too much TV watching made you lazy…or is that just “intellectually” lazy?

  122. @144, hmmm…maybe the shooter(s) is a Muslim? Mohamed had a thing against black dogs especially.

  123. This just doesn’t happen in a civilised country, does it? Could it?

    Please tell me it couldn’t?

    Oh yeah… In London they shot a Brazilian electrician on a train, and that was ok.

    Civilisation is dead.

    I just hope that this mayor has enough clout to make sure that, just for once, this insanity at least costs somebody their job.

  124. Man, Makes you want to put a claymore mine right inside your front door.

    Do they make bullet proof doggie sweaters?

    If this mayor doesn’t get several people shit-canned, he doesn’t deserve to be reelected.

  125. Hey Ugly Canuck @137

    I’m not saying that the Mayor’s labs weren’t nice dogs, but prior to us finding out that one of the dogs was running away (proof they were on the nice side) some posters made the assumption that the dogs HAD to be nice dogs, just by virtue of being labs. This, to me, was a generalization or a fallacy of the ‘general rule’.

    I just wanted to point out to the previous posters (by sharing my personal experience) that being a lab doesn’t automatically make the dogs good or nice. I made no mention that the Mayor’s dogs weren’t. They did not deserve to get shot.

  126. @93

    Grat use of a Propagandhi lyric =D

    Sad thing is that it’s almost more relevant now than it was over 10 years ago when that song was written/released.

  127. “I’m glad I live in Canada.”

    Okay maybe they don’t shoot dogs in Canada, but didn’t Canadian officials recently tazer a Polish guy to death in the airport because he couldn’t speak English?

  128. #154: Yeah change the topic from police brutality…to religion…from the tone of your comment I’m guessing that you are no Muslim….nice to see you “spread the love”.

  129. re-post
    What’s At Stake?
    Enough is Enough: Petition to Stop the Reckless Drug Raids

    In November 2006, 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston was killed by police during a raid conducted at the wrong house. Ms. Johnston fired at the police officers as they were breaking in through her living room window. Three officers were injured, but Ms. Johnston was struck 39 times and died at the scene.

    In July 2007, Mike Lefort, 61, and his mother, Thelma, 83, were surprised and thrown to the ground when Thibodeau, Louisiana police burst into the wrong house with a “no knock” warrant. Thelma suffered from a spike in her blood pressure and had a difficult time overcoming the shock.

    In March 2007, masked police officers in Jacksonville, Florida, mistakenly burst into the home of Willie Davis, grandfather of murdered DreShawna Davis, and his mentally disabed son. The pair were forced to the ground, where they watched helplessly as police tore apart the memorabilia from DreShawn’s funeral. The drug sale that never happened was said to involve all of two crack rocks worth $60.

    One would think after Atlanta police killed 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston, that they would get the idea, but they haven’t. On Friday, 1/4/08, a SWAT team, serving an ordinary drug search warrant, invaded the Ohio home of Tarika Wilson — an innocent woman — shot and killed her, and shot her one-year-old son. “They went in that home shooting,” her mother said at a vigil that night. The boy lost at least one of his fingers. Two dogs were shot too.

    SWAT teams were created to deal with extreme situations, not routine ones. Yet police now conduct tens of thousands of SWAT raids every year, mostly in low-level drug enforcement. The result is that people like Wilson and Johnston continue to die in terror, with many thousands more having to go on living with trauma. But it’s all for a drug war that has failed and can’t be made to work.

    It’s time to rein in the SWAT teams. Please sign our online petition: “Enough is Enough: Petition to Limit Paramilitary Police Raids in America.” A copy will be sent in your name to your US Representative and Senators, your state legislators, your governor, and the president. When you’re done, please tell your friends and please spread the word wherever you can.

    This is a first step. Take it with us today, and there can be more. Enough is enough — no more needless deaths from reckless SWAT raids!

    Visit http://stopthedrugwar.org/policeraids for more information about this issue, including our October Zogby poll showing that 66% of Americans, when informed about the issue, don’t think police should use aggressive entry tactics when doing routine drug enforcement.

  130. #160: And they’ll never do that again.
    In contrast to what’s under discussion here.
    Some effort to change the topic?

  131. Good thing this was a DC suburb — otherwise the homeowner might have had some actual children put in harm’s way.

    Gotta love DC and the rebirth of yuppie, dog-canonizing culture.

  132. In my post #154 I meant to be referencing Takuan’s post #147 (“is this an inappropriate time to note that the dogs were black?“), not #144. My bad.

  133. #154: Not what you speculated, perhaps instead a hater of all things remotely Led Zeppelin-ish? Or John Bonham-y?

  134. #167: Yeah, not a pot raid though.
    Also in my locality that very breed is banned…like guns, some dogs, most dangerous.

  135. @157 claymores are good for 250 meters to the front, but they also be deadly up to 100 meters to the rear, so watch where you position it.

    drawing of the claymore’s blast radius

    When the M18A1 is detonated, the explosion drives the matrix of 700 spherical fragments out of the mine at a velocity of 3,995 feet (1,218 m) per second (1,200 m/s) [1], at the same time breaking the matrix into individual fragments. The spherical steel balls are projected in a 60° fan-shaped pattern that is two meters high (6 ft, 8 in) and 50 meters (165 ft) wide at a range of 50 meters (165 ft). The force of the explosion deforms the relatively soft steel fragments into a shape similar to a .22 rimfire projectile [1]. These fragments are moderately effective up to a range of 100 meters (328 ft), with a hit probability of around 10% on a prone man-sized 1.3-square-foot (0.12 m²) target (0.12 square meters). The fragments can travel up to 250 meters (820 ft) forward of the weapon. The optimum effective range is 50 meters (165 ft), at which the optimal balance is achieved between lethality and area coverage with a hit probability of 30% on a man-sized target.

  136. I think the real issue here is what seems to be an absence of any reasonable amount of due-diligence on the part of the police.

    30lbs of marajuana is quite a bit.

    1- it’s a clear intent to distribute
    2- looking at a quick websearch, 512 ounces @ a $100 street price is 51,200; @350 an ounce you’re looking at 179,200k

    let’s split the difference and say its about 100k — thats a $100k drug bust. that’s huge. thats well above any level police should be prepared for a scarface inspired dealer to scream “Say hello to my little friend” and start shooting wildly.

    so what went wrong ?

    maybe if they did some due-diligence and simple monitoring, they could have gone in with less force on a sting – or been prepared for dogs and try to take that into consideration instead of running in with guns blazing.

    maybe they would have also figured out that – perhaps – these people were being set up / used as a decoy.

    drug dealers can’t be *that* stupid. if i had to move $100k worth of drugs, I sure as hell wouldn’t ship it UPS to myself — I’d do what credit card theives do: ship stuff to someone else’s house, then steal it from their porch or break in.

  137. They should lose their jobs, permanently, and spend a few years in jail as well. Since a mayor was involved, I can at least hope for the the former. If this happened against a normal citizen, it wouldn’t matter if they shot his grandmother- they’d be getting off with a slap on the wrist. At most.

  138. #174: Bah. “Prices” used as justifications for Police Action where absent police action that “price” would be approaching zero.
    The cops make the weed valuable, and it really is not worth it.
    Who gives a damn if they are selling…it should be legal.

  139. #174: What went wrong is that someone passed a Law against this stuff.
    Still waiting for that rational argument to institute/maintain complete prohibition of marijuana.

  140. Cops don’t even do anything. If your car gets broken into, what do they do? Make you fill out a report and often grill you with questions as if you’re the criminal. If your house gets broken into? Same thing. Someone goes missing, gets murdered/raped/robbed, they often don’t catch the suspect or solve anything. So what are they doing with their time? Putting people in jail for drug offenses that shouldn’t be legal in the first place or wouldn’t exist if the drugs were regulated and legalized… or sitting in parking lots of fast-food restaurants/donut stores… or setting up traps to take even more of your hard-earned money.

  141. #183: yes. See my post #119 above. Cops who support keeping weed illegal do not know their own interests as members of a free society IMO.

  142. 148 said, “Exactly. How on earth can we compete with them stone-cold sober Chinese factory workers when we’re sitting around baked, making love and listening to Phish??? ”

    Some people drink and smoke weed and are very productive. Actors, writers, artists, landscapers, my lawyer…

  143. Some folks should be made to sit down and watch “Andy Griffith/Mayberry” especially the ones where Andy leaves town and Barney Fife ends up arresting the whole town. There was a good episode where some state police come into town to raid a moonshiner and they want to go in with guns blazing and Andy says something to the effect of “oh, that’s Ol’ Bill, I’ll just go talk to him and tell him he’s got to take his moonshine still down”.

    It’s just too bad they didn’t have an episode where Barney shot someone else’s foot instead of his own.

    Gun nuts shouldn’t be cops. Common sense, people.

  144. The mayor was just giving a news conference on CNN. Let’s see how Mr. & Mrs. Public take to this…

  145. Well I only hope that as Americans you can come up with a solution to your problems.
    FWIW my feelings and thoughts, I trust, have been made clear above. And IMO a majority of my fellow citizens broadly agree with me on this topic.
    I hope you USians can find ways to reduce the violence plaguing your Nation.

  146. #191
    geez… I hope ELF or someone crazy will start murdering these people so they get the message.

  147. My god… what kind of person could watch a pair of their own black labradors bleeding to death in front of them while tied up and not be scarred for life. I’ll tell you what kind… no kind.

    Jeez, how can you justify this?

  148. #186: Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Mick Jagger, Mr. Robert Mitchum, Mr. Louis Armstrong, Sir Ian Fleming, Mr.Pierre Burton…

  149. “@157 claymores are good for 250 meters to the front, but they also be deadly up to 100 meters to the rear, so watch where you position it.”

    I am filling the hall closet with sandbags as we speak.

  150. Unfortunately, it is standard practice for SWAT teams to shoot dogs. In some cases they can be dangerous, and there is no value placed on the lives, so they can be shot as a precaution. Wasn’t the shooting of a dog what started the Ruby Ridge fiasco?

    I met someone once who said she had a similar thing happen to her. In the middle of the night, while she and her husband were sleeping, a SWAT team burst into her home, shot her dog, and pulled her and her husband, naked, out of bed. Shortly after they realized they had mixed up the address, and she was awarded a settlement around $100k… which was not much considering she still does not sleep easily, and oh, did absolutely nothing wrong.

    I don’t know how true it was, but I hope this similar, high profile case is drawing attention to this potential for abuse.

  151. a lot to be said for small yappy dogs, doors strong enough to stand up to one or two battering ram strikes, motion sensor lights everywhere, obvious CCTV cameras and anything else than makes it real hard to sneak up on.

  152. Well, they shot the labrador puppy which was running away, but it was probably Coming Right Towards Them!

    Oh, and could someone tell me what’s with Zyklon’s vowel-less writing? I’ve seen it about a few times and can only assume the only point is to be annoying.

  153. Well I think it was his only point, but the disemvowelling is not Herr Zyklon’s idea, I’m afraid.

  154. eti,

    Numbers change when anonymous comments are approved and fall into queue. Comments that refer to comments by numbers frequently make no sense.

  155. #203: Sorry…I got the cite of the Post I was responding to wrong…a form of dyslexia, I am afraid that you are not the only Poster with a right to complain about my inaccurate fire, so to speak…even worse I am not sure now as to which of the comments I was then responding. IIRC it was one of Ivan’s “your OK (unlikely to be a target/victim of enforcement) so why do you care about what the law says”-type comments.
    At least they are only words, but nevertheless once again, apologies to you, ETI.
    Particularly since we seem to overall agree about this issue.

  156. rosyatrandom:

    It is a method called “disemvowelling”, used by the moderators to make it easy for people to skip over posts made for obvious trolling / insulting / obscenity / off-topic – and still allow those who are moderately interested to puzzle out what the troll said, if they care.

    It is quite effective at increasing the average IQ of a thread and discourages trolls.

  157. I’ve had the police damage my vehicle during an illegal search. It was out of state and the damage was only about $1000 so it simply wasn’t worth my effort to sue for compensation. What was disgusting to me was that the police have no interest in cleaning up the damage they cause. They simply did not respond to my written requests for compensation.
    Identifying, cataloging, and fixing “incidental” damage should be a standard part of what cops do while serving a search warrant. The reality is that the cops have no interest in cleaning up their messes, so they shove that responsibility off on the innocent victims. I can understand that there may sadly be times when cops have to break down doors and shoot dogs of innocent people, but they should also do the responsible thing and make reparations for their mistakes.

    Even the mayor of the town had to pay a lawyer in order to get his police to clean up their mess.

  158. This raises a legal question that maybe someone here knows the answer to: Does the mayors innocence or guilt have any bearing on whether the police have to pay for damages to his dogs and property? It seems to me that the police are responsible regardless, because it was their decision to use that force to “preserve evidence”, but I’d like to hear from people who know the law here.

  159. Azanon: IANAL.

    However, the police are not legally compelled to do /anything/ for the victim of a War on Drugs raid until and unless the victim demonstrates positively in a special court their utter /innocence/.

    Meanwhile, the police may seize anything and everything in and on the property, including the property itself, including bank accounts, and keep it / auction it without due process, without warrant, and keep the proceeds, so long as even “reasonable suspicion” of even /residue/ of an illegal drug is found, which can be as little as a drug-spotting canine signalling on a twenty-dollar bill in your wallet.

    This leaves the victim without financial ability to reclaim their life or fight a mistaken government office.

    There is no meaningful judicial or balance-of-powers oversight of this.

    This is incredibly unconstitutional, as the Fourth Amendment states that

    “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

    It doesn’t say “it’s OK if the government makes mistakes because there’s a war on an inanimate concept underway.”

    It doesn’t say “seizures may be undertaken under /possible/ cause”.

    Neither this judge nor the supposedly “Strict Constructionalist” Scalia who authored the opinion authorising no-knock warrant serving – not to mention supporting a somehow-Constitutional basis of these kinds of raids and seizures – can apparently understand what “Reason” means – it means there exists an actual legitimate reason!

    The War on Drugs as operated presumes that anything and everything the police see as valuable in and around any operated drug raid – whether anyone is convicted or even indicted – is theirs for the taking. The Constitution and the Fourth Amendment demands that the police operate under due process and prove their case every step of the way in order to protect innocent people from the government!

  160. I’m sure the Mayor would have come down to the station willingly to answer questions. There was no reason they had to bust in Rambo style and kill their pets! Seriously people it was 30lbs of pot, not a bomb or something.

  161. Man, I am not a cop, just a citizen, and I know the suburb, but not the street address of the mayor of our city. I suppose I could look it up in the phonebook… or maybe there’s a high tech worldwide linked database on the internet….

    More proof that drugs inhibit rational thought.

  162. Some other things that have “justified” War on Drugs seizures:

    Being visited by a snitch in the employ of the police, who has a vested personal interest in identifying suspects to the police in exchange for some benefit;

    Being identified by a snitch in the employ of the police, who has a vested personal interest in identifying suspects to the police in exchange for some benefit, and the police discovering large quantities of cash money on the property during the raid (Note that a snitch has given them probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation – not an officer of the law nor of the court, but a criminal offender and/or someone who has been entangled in the legal system and who wishes to disentangle themselves, and/or someone who wishes to also entangle the “mark” in the legal system as a method of retribution. This snitch is supposedly accountable to the court issuing the warrant. The court issuing the warrant, and review courts, will in each and every such circumstance uphold the legality of the warrant issued wrongly because it was issued “in good faith”.)

    Having moved into and lived in an apartment that was used by previous residents to manufacture methamphetamine, and which was not properly remediated (not remediated at all) by the landlord.

  163. Last One for today –

    from TFA, the Cato Institute’s report:

    “The cops then handcuffed Calvo and his mother-in-law and interrogated them for hours, while the dogs’ bodies laid in pools of blood nearby. The cops later found the package of drugs – unopened, as if it were an unexpected package. No arrests were made.”

    I wish to disagree – being handcuffed and interrogated for hours /constitutes an arrest/. Detainment and an interrogation – which requires Mirandisation – is the /utter legal definition/ of an arrest.
    During this time, these people were undoubtedly denied access to legal representation. Were they even Mirandised?

  164. Bottom Line: expect at least four or five cops to suddenly find themselves out of jobs *and* pensions

    I’ve got fifty bucks that says it never happens. Anybody want a piece?

    Hey, the guy’s lucky he’s the mayor. Otherwise, the cops would have simply sprinkled some crack on the dogs’ corpses and arrested everybody.

  165. Ok. So, they found the pot in an unopened package outside the house, AFTER the raid? What was the reason for the raid in the first place? Did they already have a pot mailing list? Did the delivery people know it was pot, and deliver it regardless?

  166. Why would drug dealers ship a lot of drugs to an innocent recipient who might open the package, find the illegal merchandise and turn it over to law enforcement immediately? It doesn’t make sense.

  167. Daemon & Lucifer: Did you guys come in the same taxi?
    Seriously, the Posts above answer your Q’s: Cops knew what it was prior to delivery…the cops delivered the box…nobody signed for it…Cops then burst in , guns a-blazin’, because they were scared.

  168. Hey lucifer I think it was one of the Mayor’s political enemies…that’s what these laws create, political “crimes”…some people do not define “politics” broadly enough.

  169. Why is everyone so quick to dismiss the mayor’s involvement? Noone here knows anything about how the drugs came to be addressed to the mayor’s home address. He may have been expecting them, he may have been framed by having an “enemy” send it to him and tip off the cops, or maybe he was an innocent piece in some really convoluted way to ship drugs.
    It’s a nice little pro-family picture accompanying the story, but who’s to say the mayor wasn’t as crooked as crack-smoking DC mayor Marion Bary?
    There just seems to be some positive prejudice in favor of the mayor in all this.

  170. Thank god the cops shot their dogs, since Black Labs are notoriously such vicious & dangerous canines. Wow, the question of the pot aside, this is so sad to me.. watching your dogs bleed to death. Good times.

  171. You will notice that my theory (in contrast to those floated by Lucifer) preserves the presumption of innocence….and does not cast aspersions on the conduct of the police…because it is the Law that is at fault here, not these little players…the path is clear.

  172. The Prince George’s County Police Department have been a bunch of redneck thugs for years. Ask anyone who lives in the county. They get away with this conduct because the local government refuses to do anything about. Thank God I don’t live in that area any more.

  173. Ugly canuck – Without any shred of evidence, that theory of yours has as much credibility as the theory that the mayor was completely involved in acquiring the drugs. The story only tells, in an incomplete manner, the event of the arrest. There is no account to support any conspiracy theories to explain how a box full of drugs found its way to its specific destination through a delivery service.
    Antinous – what makes you say I’m trolling?

    1. Lucifer,

      An unsubstantiated, contrarian theory posited by a sock puppet for the sole purpose of irritating other commenters is a troll post.

  174. Canuck – your theory isn’t presuming the innocence of the mayor, it is advocating it. You’ve built a story that supports an ultimate conclusion of innocence. That is very different from operating with the presumption of innocence. I’m not convinced either way that the mayor was involved or was simply an innocent victim because there are simply not enough facts to go on. To formulate scenarios that lead to one conclusion or another right now is based on completely pure fiction. I simply remain curious to find out more about this case as it unfurls.

  175. These people thought of these dogs as their children. It’s pretty much the same as them busting down the door and planting a few bullets in an infant playing with pots and pans on the floor. Afterwards, they would say they were threatened by the toddler, who was about to beat them down with a frying pan.

    What kind of world do we live in where people can shoot another’s companion to death and not even offer an apology.

  176. Antinous

    where do I attempt to “substantiate” this non-existent “theory”? I’m doing the opposite. I don’t have a theory. I’m saying there cannot be a valid theory right now given the lack of facts. So your claim that I’m pushing a theory is false and the claim I’m “substantiating” that theory must also be false. Whether my position is contrarian is also not quite right since I’m neither saying the mayor was or was not involved – but simply stating that’s a status that the records at this time cannot point to in either direction. As far as the inner motivations for the expression of a comment, it remains more the fruit of your own imagination to conclude that its purpose is to “irritate others”. As to calling me a sock puppet, it’s nice that you’ve been following my transparent career. It’s not like I’ve made it a secret that I had an ID of Satan before this one and it certainly wasn’t your detective work that helped you figure that out.

  177. Dear Federal Government, U.S.A.,

    Are my civil rights and liberties standing in the way of your need to control everything?

  178. Proving once again that the police do what they want, when they want, then let the courts straighten out the mess.
    If cops had less power the courts would be less full.

    How do we protect ourselves from the police is the big questions?

  179. but Walrus, they feel your rights and liberties are from them by grant, not inherent to you. Now stay in view of the camera.

  180. “Unsubstantiated”, I believe Antinous said.
    In science theories before facts. The latter tests the former.
    Lucifer, you’re not accused of substantiation. perhaps you would care to substantiate your claims…You are putting the Mayor’s innocence into question. We are to presume his innocence…it is up to the police to substantiate guilt under the Law by means of evidence… the “records” to date revealed do nothing to prove guilt. Or to put his presumed innocence into question, contrary to your assertion that “the jury’s now out”.
    I agree with Antinous. I too think you’re making up scenarios to irritate others.
    How about a rational argument for maintaining the total ban on marijuana possession? Or are we to ignore the underlying problem here?
    I like that you’re admitting that you argue for the sake of argument…perhaps to stymy political action for change?

  181. Divert and dissipate the desire for change that naturally comes with the revelations of injustice…Lucifer is rising….

  182. Canuck
    In science, hypothesis before a theory. Facts are used to test a hypothesis and a theory is a conclusion based on those tests and based on the facts based on those tests. Most conclusions, especially in biological sciences, are called “theories” even if they are accepted by most as laws. The theory of evolution has basis in fact and evidence.
    The claims I make are that claims cannot be made.
    We are to presume his innocence, I agree that much, but I think there is a lot of theorizing and speculation and prejudicial commentary that fills in gaps in facts without any kind of evidenciary basis.

    An argument in “maintaining total ban on marijuana possession” is not really the crux of this article. If the box were full of methamphetamines or heroin or stolen diamonds, the story would not change one bit. It’s about a mysterious sequence of events where players came to a violent collision and you end up with a mayor detained, his dogs killed, and a police that now needs to issue an explanation for the basis for those actions.

    I don’t see any admission on my part that I argue for the sake of argument. Simply because I don’t happen to log in and say “I agree with the majority” doesn’t mean that I’m an agent of anarchy. Calling a minority position here as “Stymying political action for change” here on the comments section of boingboing is, I think, a bit of an overblown sense of perspective on your part.

  183. Lucifer, this Police Action was undertaken due to a perceived violation of the Laws forbidding the Possession of Marijuana.
    If there were no such Laws this would not have happened.
    It changes the story entirely and completely if they were smuggled diamonds or bio-weapons…

  184. I’m got $50 to match Joe MommaSan’s If anyone thinks the people that did this will out of a job.

    In fact, what I think will happen is they’ll get a short vacation, after which they’ll receive a promotion.

  185. Anyway.Lucifer, the only thing in your Post that was ‘contrary” to this thread were your statements that maybe the Mayor is guilty. So what’s your point?
    Our point is that to be guilty of Marijuana possession is to be guilty of an act which in and of itself ought not to make the “offender” liable to suffer state violence of any kind.
    The harm of this Law outweighs the Good it aspires to.
    This harm includes the facts of this case.
    To fix the problem here, we say: change the Law.
    OTOH your point seems to be: You all shut your mouth and forget about this until the cops clear it up for us. Oh and the Law is irrelevant.
    Thanks for nothing.

  186. Canuck

    So the SWAT team would never conceivably be called upon to break down doors to intercept agents engaging in the trafficking of (insert name of any illegal thing here)? I’m not sure how you mean that the story would change entirely if they were dealing with smuggled bio-weapons, sex-slaves, stolen artwork, or any other type of narcotic.

    It doesn’t even matter right now whether the mayor was guilty or innocent here. Just for the sake of the event of the arrest, the circumstances would not have changed: Box of illegal stuff arrives at doorstep. Bring it into the house. Swat team busts through the door and arrests everyone. Shoot dogs for good measure, especially puppies. Open box. Lo and behold, illegal stuff inside the box.

    How would that be any different from the original story? It wouldn’t.

    Seems to me like the big issues are:
    1. the use of no-knock bust-in techniques despite the absence of a no-knock warrant by the police. They’ll have to explain why they went beyond the authorized level of intrusion that the warrant permitted.
    2. the level of involvement if any by the mayor and his wife in this mess.
    3. the source of the drugs though that will likely never come to pass.

    you say: “your point seems to be: You all shut your mouth and forget about this until the cops clear it up for us. Oh and the Law is irrelevant.”

    That is completely the opposite of what I stated. I have no doubt the mayor has a lot of legal resources on his side unlike many people busted for drugs. I believe his lawyers will make a zealous and impassioned effort to address what has happened. I’m not relying on the police to volunteer anything but rather trusting that a mayoral office will have some leverage in the next move following this incident. The law will be the instrument that will help the mayor and the law is what the police will use as a basis to explain themselves. The evidence that does exist points to an faulty execution of a warrant. The law is and will be the sole and only relevant thing in the coming court battles.

  187. Lucifer, you have read this thread have you not?
    You are aware that whether or no the warrant is “no-knock” is irrelevant to the admission of evidence found within the house?
    And that in this case the police knew what was in the box prior to its delivery and had an agent deliver it to the door? tried to get an old lady to sign for it and she refused? That the agent carried the box into the house? And then SWAT came in guns blazing?
    The facts as revealed by the lawful evidence will also be relevant, reference to which I am sure you meant to include in your last sentence.
    But the Police will settle out of court, I think…well, another day, another 2000 pot arrests in the USA.

  188. Lost: Constitutional Amendment
    Name: Fourth (aka: unreasonable search and seizure)
    Last Seen: 9/10/2001
    If Found: Please return to United States Justice Department.

    Can Not Live Without Constant Care.
    Dearly Missed.

  189. Hope he does. Should not blame the Cops for having to enforce rotten unjust laws. They have a difficult job, especially as those same laws do nothing to help the Cops’ popularity (and that does matter when it comes to doing their jobs – without willing witnesses to testify as to crime they are helpless – oh except for drug crimes, which only require a state of being (possession) not a state of mind…or even a victim).
    I’ve said it before. Look behind and above the Cops. Look to the Politicians, if “blame” must be laid .
    Simply stated, people should not lose their personal security for marijuana possession,distribution,production or use. That law must and I believe will be changed. There is no rational justification or it. If not changed then allowed to whither on the vine due to lack of enforcement.
    This case is just another violent result of the right-wing (and left-wing, they can be worse) War on Drugs.
    Sometimes cops need their guns a-blazin’, especially in the USA, for idiosyncratic reasons. Not so much elsewhere, it seems.
    Just not for marijuana offenses. Please.

  190. Canuck
    You’re a more forgiving person than I am because if cops shot my dogs, I’d probably skip the policeman’s ball that year altogether and give more to the firemen.

  191. They had a search warrant, so there really is no issue with the Fourth Amendment as there was nothing unreasonable about investigating a house where 32 lbs of pot was addressed to with a judge’s consent.

    I don’t remember any part of the constitution that says anything about announcing yourself first though you’d figure they’d do that to avoid being shot at by people thinking they’re burglars. Obviously if someone screamed, they’ve been seen so the chances of someone accidentally shooting them is significantly lessened.

    Shooting his dogs was overboard assuming they weren’t doing anything, but I imagine they tried to protect master and two large black dogs barking at you – well, it is hard to say.

    These were federal agents, not local police. The mayor probably can’t do much about this unless he has friends.

    I don’t really know about civilization being over. I feel like people have romanticized the 18th and 19th century. They were hardly crime-free utopian times. Quite the opposite – those times were brutal. Never mind early 20th century with prohibition.

  192. Aloisius, read the thread above. One dog was running away when shot.
    It’s the Law being enforced that opened the door to the Cops, which is the problem here, not the manner of its enforcement, horrific as that was.
    That manner, repeated tens of thousands of times over the decades, in order to enforce a Law which should not be on the Books in the first place, has had rotten effects on the political ‘psyche’ of the USA.
    IMO it is not Gov’s job to seek the “moral perfection” of its citizens by outlawing harmless behavior that the Gov happens to disapprove of. Like reading comic books. Or being a communist.
    Nor should any Law stand if there is no rational justification for it.
    There is none for Laws prohibiting the production sale and use of marijuana and hashish.

  193. Lucifer: Not really forgiveness, just a recog that it’s a mass society, cops do not make the rules…they follow them. At least the good ones do.
    Attack the Law not its Executor. They did not write it. (But when they do it really stinks.)
    Attack the post not the poster. Its the thoughts that count.

  194. The dogs in the picture have muzzles on. I don’t know too many people who do that with docile animals.

    Now if the dogs were running away, well that’s totally wrong to shoot them and honestly no matter what the situation, if it happened to me I’d be pissed.

    We’re not going to agree on drug policy. I see pot as something that makes people lazy, destroys ambition and encourages obesity. Sure there are people who smoke in moderation and are completely functional, but I’ve had friends who piddled away years of their lives sitting around smoking pot.

    I don’t like our drug policy. I’m all for decriminalization with heavy fines. But legalization? There aren’t many countries where smoking pot is legal and of the few, they’re hardly known for their productivity.

    Now some may argue that it isn’t right to force people to be productive. Well, I was taught working hard is the American way. That might sound cheesy, but Americans really do work hard and I really do view sloth as reprehensible.

    1. In L.A.—everybody fucking smokes weed here. It’s like, the studio heads we’re meeting with, they smoke weed. It’s not like they have these misconceptions, “Oh, they must be idiots because they smoke weed.” And clearly we found some success; we can’t be totally brain-dead yet.

      From an A.V. Club interview with Seth Rogen

  195. Aloisius – those are not muzzles, they are ‘gentle leads’ – specifically for dogs who pull while walking. Muzzles are tight.

    For all the ‘harm’ weed does to those who choose for themselves to use it, does anyone deserve to get prison time for it? Aren’t they MORE of a burned to society when they sit in jail on your tax dollar? And how about those who get shot for it? Should organized crime be making and protecting the profits?

    Is decriminalizing it really any worse than the alternatives?

    Also, your friends… you’d be better off holding your friends responsible for their inactions rather than letting them off the hook by blaming inanimate objects for the poor decision making.

    Your friends weren’t probably going to do anything useful with that time anyhow. It’s my experience that people who turn to the stuff to that degree are in a bad spot with or without it.

  196. Aloysius: That’s funny. I see television as making people lazy, destroying ambition, and promoting obesity. So does affluence IMO. And the “wrong kind” of books and ideas.
    But I don’t not want the cops to shoot your dogs, throw you in jail, and take your children, livelihood and property to encourage you to get back to work, or whatever it is that you think you should be doing to fulfill your ambitions, solely to prevent you from watching TV. Nor should they take your savings, etc. to keep you working at your “highest most efficient capacity” so that we can have a “productive society”.
    I do note that watching TV is of considerably less ancient vintage than using marijuana for medicine, but that’s disallowed too – we don’t want lazy unambitious terminal cancer patients lounging about.
    Banning drugs is like banning food. For a laugh, see how “food” and “drugs” are distinguished in the Laws eg governing the FDA. They cannot do it. The state ought not to get between the subject’s hand and the subject’s mouth. It has no business being there. It is an unwarranted extension of whatever Power we have granted our Governments.
    It’s a free country still, in spite of the “Work not mind-altering drugs shall make you free” vibe that surrounds this issue.
    I still think that a rational argument – not one based on anecdotal evidence – should be made for a Law that uses the unlimited Power of the State to deprive people of their freedom for a harmless act.
    My guess is that reefer actually makes it harder for the Gov to send kids to war, like in the 60s. After all that’s when the great crackdown on weed started, huh? That was the problem was it not? That pot-smoking kids started protesting the Vietnam War?
    Reefer laws are authoritarian in genesis and in effect. They are an insult to the very idea of personal freedom and the rights of individuals to determine their own values as to what is worth doing, and what is not, with their very own lives and times.
    There is no harm in marijuana use.

  197. aloishus, i’m thinkin you get your cannabis info from ‘above the influence’? the ads that show the talking dog, and/or the ‘pot coccoon’. total horse hockey! 1rst hand knowledge of the marine construction crew i worked for, for 6 years after H.S. 100% of the crew smoked herb, 100% drank. we built bridges, docks, seawalls, and wooden walkways. in s.w. florida. in the summertime(may-nov.). there was no sloth tolerated. that was ’85-’91 and 99% of those structures are still standing! i drove over one just last week. i guess you know about as much about hemp as you do about muzzling dogs.

  198. I find it interesting that no one in this whole long discussion has mentioned one of the major motivations for the “Drug” War – keeping Latin America bloody. We had no justifiable reason for military intervention/permanent presence down there even before the communism bugaboo dried up. The “Drug” War provides not just a convenient but a necessary excuse to keep the poor and exploited continent, well, poor and exploitable.

    But more importantly, there’s (gasp) actually a useful and important workable tactic (that doesn’t involve internet petitions – not that there’s anything wrong with that) put forward way earlier in this thread which bears multiple all-caps repition: JURY NULLIFICATION!


    Read up on it, tell your friends, spread the word – we the people have one last trick up our sleeves, it’s been suppressed, but they’ve never gotten rid of it, as much as they’ve tried.


    End the War!

  199. um… by “more importantly” I didn’t mean to downplay the horrors we have imposed and continue to perpetrate on our southern neighbors… woops…

    here’s a link to narconews to make up for it. Best radical english-language coverage of Latin America I know of… all through the lens of the “Drug” War.

  200. An update from the 8/8/08 Washington Post

    “The FBI has launched a review of the violent law enforcement raid of the home of Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo in Prince George’s County last week that resulted in the deaths of the family’s two dogs.”

    “… said they will also probably review other search warrants served by the sheriff’s office and county police in recent years.”

    “An attorney came forward yesterday to allege a possible pattern of animal abuse by the sheriff’s department.”

    “In the first case, Winkleman said, sheriff’s deputies arrived at the Accokeek home … with a warrant for another house on their street. After the couple informed the deputies of their error, they continued to question the couple and looked around their home.

    As they spoke, the couple’s 5-year-old German boxer began barking in a yard, out of sight. Soon after, according to Winkleman, the couple heard gunshots, and they found the dog shot to death.”

    “In another case, … filed a $4 million lawsuit accusing sheriff’s deputies of searching her home without a warrant in May 2007 while looking for her sister, who lived in Capitol Heights. According to the suit, deputies falsely claimed to have a warrant and searched every room of the home. When they did not find the sister, the suit alleges, they threatened to return the next day and search again, saying that if they did, James’s dog would be dead.”

    In Other News:

    “Courts across the country in recent years have ruled that it is almost always unacceptable for police to kill pets in the course of searching a home. Cases in three federal circuits have found that killing pets amounts to unreasonable seizure.

    “The U.S. Supreme Court declined to stop a lawsuit by the Hells Angels motorcycle club after police in San Jose killed three guard dogs during a 1998 raid. That case, which also involved police taking items from the group’s clubhouse, resulted in $1.8 million in settlements.”

    “Yesterday, Calvo also called on the sheriff’s office to release photos taken the night of the raid of the two black Labrador retrievers, which he said would prove the dogs did not engage deputies as Jackson said Wednesday. He said the children of 3,000-person Berwyn Heights would testify to the dogs’ gentle nature, and he said deputies had killed them “for sport.“”

  201. I can’t believe that no one’s stated the obvious. If the cops had wanted to catch a couple of pot dealing criminals, all they would have had to do is place some french toast with maple syrup on the porch. Using SWAT teams is for crack & coke dealers, those kids have way to much energy, pot just slows ya down. ;-)

  202. “Jury nullification means making a law void by jury decision, in other words “the process whereby a jury in a criminal case effectively nullifies a law by acquitting a defendant regardless of the weight of evidence against him or her.”[3]

    Jury nullification is more specifically any rendering of a verdict by a trial jury, acquitting a criminal defendant despite the defendant’s violation of the letter of the law. This verdict need not disagree with the instructions by the judge concerning what the law is, but may disagree with an instruction, if given by the judge, that the jury is required to apply the law to the defendant if certain facts are found.

    Although a jury’s refusal relates only to the particular case before it, if a pattern of such verdicts develops in response to repeated attempts to prosecute a statutory offense, it can have the practical effect of disabling the enforcement of the statute. “Jury nullification” is thus a means for the people to express opposition to an unpopular legislative enactment.”

  203. Should not blame the Cops for having to enforce rotten unjust laws.

    Right. After all, they were just doing their jobs – just following orders. Kinda like the guys who nailed Jesus to the cross – just doing their jobs.

  204. bad example, if that was a god they were tacking up, they had no free will – all that divine plan stuff yadaya.

  205. >>Should not blame the Cops for having to enforce rotten unjust laws.<< Right I am sure they get called into their lieutenant's office and screamed at for being a maverick if they haven't shot enough lab puppies in the last month. "Riggs, you are a crazed nutjob. If you don't learn to play by the rules, you'll be a meter maid by the end of the week. I want a warrantless raid and a dead puppy on my desk tomorrow by noon!"

  206. Tak

    If it was all planned and executed by god then why did it get so pissed when they killed jesus?

    Clearly, free will is always.

  207. Yeah, the whole “just doing their jobs” thing doesn’t sit right with me. Cops get off on it. That’s why they become cops in the first place.

  208. ”Jury nullification,” or ”fully informed jury” action, was a common tactic used for decades by racist juries in the American south to find white defendants innocent of crimes against blacks, despite overwhelming evidence of guilt. It’s really quite simple. No judge can tell a juror how to vote. They may say, and they do, that if thus-and-so and so-and-so, is this-and-that, then you MUST find so-and-so; but it’s bullshit and they know it. Nor can any juror be prosecuted because of his or her vote.

    The all-white, all-male Dixie juries knowingly and regularly acquitted guilty men. For a different reason, black women jury members in Los Angeles found O.J. Simpson innocent despite obvious guilt; there was nothing anyone could do about it. That’s the jury system for you. No judge or prosecutor wants juries to know their rights or their power, of course; it might lead to, gasp! anarchy.

  209. I’m afraid the next headline we read will say “Sheriff’s Office Commission finds Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team acted appropriately in raid on Mayor’s home

    Case closed!

  210. @Lucifer
    re #231

    “Canuck – your theory isn’t presuming the innocence of the mayor, it is advocating it. You’ve built a story that supports an ultimate conclusion of innocence.”

    That’s called “presumption of innocence” and is supposed to be the bedrock of our justice system and news reporting. We don’t operate on the idea that the cops are right until proven wrong. The cops are wrong until they can prove guilt – until then, YES, we advocate for the innocence, esp. since it seems that current facts say the feds screwed up. Also, the matter of the dogs is beyond the guilt/innocence discussion: they had no right, no reason, other than intimidation and instilling terror and horror, for shooting pets. The pets were innocent, end of story, and they were executed as a matter of course. It was just an evil act, and should lead us to investigate whether drug cops have been killing beagles to f**k up their prisoners’ minds – and just ’cause it’s fun to kill dogs. No consequences = ever increasing cruelty.

  211. Isn’t Zyklon B the gas that was used to kill people in the NAZI gas chambers?
    What kind of animal chooses that as their username?

  212. Another fine example of the true Cowards the cops are. They are no different then the gangs that run our streets with the exception they can kill you with no accountability. I am tired of trying to explain to my kids why the police conduct themselves like they do. If you touch their mutt they will kill you even if he is chewing your arm off as you lay face down on the street, if they break down your door and find your pet they will kill it in fear of their lives even if it is running away. What COWARDS!!!

  213. I heard this story on Free Speech Radio News http://www.fsrn.org yesterday, and today CNN has a small blurb on it: http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/08/08/maryland.mayor/index.html although the heading summary is a bit misleading “Wife of Berwyn Heights, Maryland, mayor sent package containing marijuana” where ‘was sent’ may have been a better choice.

    At least there is a small bit of media attention. I don’t get to watch too much TV (and it probably wouldn’t be a news channel if I did), so I don’t know if it spread, and besides we have the twin distractions of the Olympics and John Edwards now, so I don’t think it will get too much traction.

  214. The insanity of this incident has already garnered ample commentary by the majority of posters above, so I will only add this thought:

    -Exactly how small a penis do you need to have to choose to become a DEA agent?

    -What kind of perverted monster are you if you think it’s OK to shoot dogs (or people) in a effort to control the use and sale of a benign green plant?

    -May the cops that did this get their punishment in the afterlife. May God strike them down for acting like this.

  215. @282 Seems I wasn’t that far off:

    The Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Office has concluded in an internal review that its deputies were justified when they shot and killed two dogs belonging to the mayor of Berwyn Heights during a July drug raid, Sheriff Michael Jackson said yesterday.

    The sheriff said that one dog was engaging an officer and that the other was running toward a second officer at the time the black Labs were shot, but the ruling did not satisfy the mayor, who said the inquiry was incomplete and misleading.

    From the Washington Post


  216. @Takuan – Oh you are so right, and thank you for alerting me to this story in a link some time ago. Again this county is a dangerous joke.

  217. Either everyone who’s posted previously is stoned (or traumatized) beyond the point of numeracy, or our moderators have vanished quite a number of posts… Either way it’s getting very hard to follow references here.

    1. Posts are re-enumerated when anonymous comments are approved. References should be by name or quote. The numbers almost always change.

  218. Nevertheless, maybe it would be good if the system retained the numbers (with gaps), so that latecomers (like me) could make sense of the thread,it’s easier to search by number.
    Maybe this should be posted on the moderation thread – but i can’t find the bugger atm…

  219. When things like this happen the police in question should be fired, no ifs ands or buts. Even if it was an accident and even if it was reasonable for them to suspect as long as the people were innocent the fact remains they lost their dogs and the police are in a position of public trust so we need to know we can rely on them, no risks should be taken here about whether they can be counted on. It is more important to protect the public than be “fair” to police officers so just in case they should be fired.

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