Prince George’s County Settles SWAT Lawsuit

Agreement may broker policing reforms

By: Mollie Reilly

This morning, Berwyn Heights mayor Cheye Calvo and attorneys for Prince George’s County settled a lawsuit brought by the mayor against the county. The suit followed a 2008 incident in which a SWAT team raided the mayor’s home and killed his two dogs.

Details of the settlement are not yet available. However, Calvo said that the agreement “puts in place meaningful reforms for how law enforcement in the county will operate,” and that the reforms will “bring Prince George’s in line with the highest standards of law enforcement.”

According to Calvo, the settlement addressed many of the concerns he had with the deployment of SWAT teams in the county, as well as the protocol for warrant service and the treatment of animals by law enforcement. Calvo praised county executive Rushern Baker for his willingness to reassess the county’s practices.

“There’s a real struggle happening between the people who want best practices and transparent government, and the defenders of the status quo,” Calvo said. “It’s important that we don’t underestimate that latter group of people.”

The settlement will take a few weeks to finalize, and putting reforms in place could take several months.

“We hope that this is merely one piece of broader reform,” Calvo said.

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