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Berwyn Heights mayor who is suing Pr. George's sheriff wins reelection

Washington Post Editors

Cheye Calvo, the Berwyn Heights mayor who is suing Prince George's County Sheriff Michael A. Jackson and others over a botched raid in which Calvo's two dogs were killed, easily won reelection Tuesday.

Calvo garnered 287 of 351 ballots cast -- 82 percent of the vote, according to official returns. Calvo was elected to a fourth term as mayor.

Calvo said many voters at the town's polling site talked to him about the July 29, 2008, incident in which SWAT officers from the county Sheriff's Department stormed into his home and fatally shot his family's two pet Labradors.

Many voters expressed support for his efforts to hold the officers and county officials who support their actions accountable, Calvo said in an e-mail.

"Although the incident and the issues that it helped bring to light were not part of my campaign platform, there is no question that it provided a backdrop to the election," Calvo wrote. "People throughout the election asked for updates on our case, expressed support for my efforts to push police accountability and reform, and offered their support to help prevent Sheriff Jackson from being elected county executive. (Jackson is running for the post in the Democratic primary).

Jackson's campaign placed a "robocall" to Berwyn Heights voters the night before the election, an occurrence which led to several conversations at the town's polling site, Calvo wrote.

The SWAT officers raided the Calvo home after county police learned that a box of marijuana was being delivered to Calvo's wife, Trinity Tomsic. The officers shot the couple's two black Labradors, Payton and Chase, and forced Calvo to kneel on the ground at gunpoint with his hands bound.

After an investigation, authorities said neither Calvo nor Tomsic had anything to do with the marijuana.

An internal sheriff's investigation found no wrongdoing by the officers. Jackson said last June that the findings were "consistent with what I've said all along: My deputies did their jobs to the fullest extent of their abilities."

Calvo's lawsuit, in Circuit Court, alleges that the officers entered his home without an appropriate warrant, that they shot the dogs without justification, and that the event was part of a "pattern and practice" of brutality by the sheriff's SWAT unit.

In an article he wrote for The Washington Post, Calvo said the officers' actions amounted to "business as usual."

-- Ruben Castaneda

By Washington Post Editors  |  May 5, 2010; 6:28 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Elections , Prince George's County  | Tags: Berwyn Heights Maryland, Cheye Calvo, Law Enforcement, Prince George's, SWAT, dogs shot, marijuana search, officers shoot dogs  
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Good job, Cheye. Keep at 'em.

Posted by: millionea81 | May 10, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

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