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Tag: swat

Video of police shooting dog prompts outrage

The fatal shooting of a dog during a February SWAT team raid in Columbia, Missouri, has prompted the police department to change its policies, Chief Ken Burton said at a news conference Thursday.

You might guess he was talking about the department’s dog-shooting policy, which, judging from this video, seems to be shoot first, shoot some more, and ask questions later.

But no. After killing a family’s pit bull, wounding their Welsh corgi, and terrorizing the suspect’s wife and child — in a bust that netted a mere palmful of marijuana — the police department has revamped department policy so that there won’t be lags between the time they obtain a search warrant and the time they, stormtrooper style, bust into homes.

Burton said the department moved slowly in Whitworth’s case because the SWAT team is made up of part-time members who hold other jobs within the department.

The fact that officer killed one of the suspect’s dogs, intentionally, and wounded another, accidentally — while the incident is still being investigated internally — seems, to him, of little import.

Burton said the pit bull was acting aggressively, and he defended the actions of the officers involved, according to The Missourian.

The suspect, Jonathan Whitworth, pleaded guilty on April 20 to a misdemeanor charge of unlawful use of drug paraphernalia and was fined $300.

Subsequently, the police video was released and found its way onto YouTube, prompting a surge of protests from animal activists.

“We’re getting death threats from literally all over the world,” Burton said.

Calvo raid, dog-killings justified, sheriff says

calvoMembers of a sheriff’s SWAT team who broke down the door of Mayor Cheye Calvo’s home — and shot and killed his two Labrador retrievers during a search for drugs – did nothing wrong.

That’s the astounding conclusion of an internal review by the Prince George’s County sheriff’s office.

“My deputies did their job to the fullest extent of their abilities,” Sheriff Michael Jackson said at a news conference.

County officials have since acknowledged that Calvo and his wife, Trinity Tomsic, were victims of a smuggling scheme that used a FedEx driver to ship boxes of drugs to unsuspecting homes. The drugs would later be picked up from doorsteps by members of the smuggling ring.

Law enforcement officials say the Calvo family knew nothing about the box, or its contents. County police, who were leading the drug investigation, have said they were unaware the house belonged to the mayor of Berwyn Heights.

“It’s outrageous,” Calvo told the Washington Post. “Not only is he not admitting any wrongdoing, but he’s saying this went down the way it was supposed to and he’s actually commending his police officers for what they did.”

One dog was shot four times by the front door. The second, Calvo says, was running away from officers when it was shot twice. Jackson said deputies thought the dog was running toward another deputy in the home. 

Calvo has scheduled a news conference for Monday to announce “further actions.”

“I’m sorry for the loss of their family pets,” Jackson said. “But this is the unfortunate result of the scourge of drugs in our community. Lost in this whole incident was the criminal element. . . . In the sense that we kept these drugs from reaching our streets, this operation was a success.”

Another Maryland SWAT team kills a dog

Mike Hasenei says a police raid on his home left him with a sprained wrist, a bullet hole in his bed and a dead dog.

“They shot three times. Two hit the dog, one hit the bed,” Hasenei told the Howard County Times.

If it all sounds vaguely familiar, think back to July. That’s when police busted into Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo’s home and shot Calvo’s dogs during a raid that netted nothing. Police later cleared Calvo and his wife of any wrongdoing and charged two unrelated people as suspects. Read more »