Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Mayor Cheye Calvo describes raid in e-mail to friends

Dear Friends and Neighbors-

Yesterday evening, as my mother-in-law prepared dinner and I changed clothes hurrying to head to a community meeting, a heavily-armed county SWAT team burst through our living room door and shot and killed both of our dogs. There were loud voices. In the sights of two high-caliber weapons, I was ushered downstairs in only my boxer shorts before I was bound and forced to kneel on the floor. My mother-in-law was bound face down in the kitchen. The dead body of my bigger and older dog, Payton, laid in a pool of blood on the other side of the living room.

It was some time before someone spoke to me other than to yell orders. I was told there was a warrant but was never shown one. After many questions and much anger, I was told that they had intercepted a package addressed to our house that contained 32 pounds of marijuana. The large, white box, which I just had retrieved from the front porch, sat unopened on a living room table.

The county police then proceeded to turn our house upside-down. I was moved to the kitchen, where I could see my little dog, Chase, lying in his own pool of blood. My mother-in-law watched them shoot him while he was running away. After about 90 minutes, they finally removed my restraints, which tied my hands behind my back. About the same time, Animal Control came to remove our dogs. Emotions overtook me; I broke down and sobbed.

They asked questions. Through my anger, hurt, and confusion, I answered them. Trinity came home from work a little after 8:00 pm, and they questioned her outside. We both were and remain in shock. It does not make sense, but shared what we could. About three-and-a-half hours passed before they acknowledged that they had found nothing to connect us to the box, but could not be 100 certain whether or not we were involved. The package alone was enough to arrest us all, they said, but they would not so long as we continued to cooperate.

Then they left. The broken front door remained open and unsecured. Blood from my dogs was pooled and tracked throughout the house. Our belongings were pulled from drawers, closets, and trunks and tossed about, piled in the middle of rooms and on tables and beds.

A Berwyn Heights officer on the scene helped me get the door shut. Just after midnight, I began to clean up the blood. We put a few things back. Trinity and I tried to sleep. Instead, we both laid there through the night as disbelief, fear, and anger played off one another. We try to make sense of it. They invaded our home and killed our dogs! That, above all else, can't be undone.

A friend came this morning to secure the door. People have begun to call, and the outpouring of friendship and support brings tears to my eyes. The media calls have begun, as well.

I wanted to get this out so that you at least hear the story from me. This promises to be a lengthy process, which will involve telling and re-living this story time and again. Hopefully, the healing will begin soon.

Warm regards,


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