I recently read about Michael A. Jackson being sworn in as the replacement to Thomas “Mike” Miller in the state senate. I would hope that it would be remembered that Jackson, while Prince George’s County sheriff, on July 29, 2008, commanded the SWAT team officers who conducted the abortive raid on Berwyn Heights then-Mayor Cheye Calvo’s home, bypassing an open kitchen door, then battering down his front door and shooting and killing his two black Labrador retrievers, one who was running away from them.
The mayor, in his underwear, and his mother-in-law were handcuffed and forced to kneel in the dog’s blood for hours while a search of their home was conducted. The Berwyn Heights Police, the primary law enforcement agency for the town, were not notified nor asked to assist in carrying out this warrant, and the officers hadn’t conducted the most basic of investigations to determine who lived in this house.
No charges were ever brought against Calvo or his family, as subsequent investigation revealed they were innocent recipients of a misdirected package intended for a corrupt delivery driver. Calvo’s lawsuit was settled before trial, and additional changes were made to reporting requirements for SWAT teams under Maryland law.
But then-Sheriff Jackson refused to admit any mistake, saying “My deputies did their job to the fullest extent of their abilities.” I question whether high political office can be trusted to a man whose character will not allow him to admit such a horrible mistake in judgement.