In 1991 I had a choice. To best work for term limits, I needed to move close to the nation’s capital. But where? Maryland or Virginia or the District of Columbia? I chose Virginia.
Nowadays I regularly travel through all three jurisdictions, though Maryland makes me nervous.
Prince George’s County police recently barged into the Berwyn Heights mayor’s home and shot his two dogs dead. Turns out their little home invasion was illegal — they lacked a no-knock search warrant, or any real case.
Weeks before this, a man arrested for the alleged homicide of a policeman was murdered in jail. Police working there refuse to cooperate in the investigation. Now we learn that many guards at the jail have criminal records and have committed crimes at the jail.
The Prince George’s County police have a long, sordid history. But you may be thinking, why lump in the whole state?
Well, the ACLU recently obtained documents showing that for 14 months in 2005 and 2006, Maryland state police spied on anti-death penalty and anti-war activists, with no probable cause of any crime. Names of political activists were entered into law enforcement databases as suspected terrorists or drug traffickers.
No wonder when the Washington Post held a contest to pick a new slogan for the state, the winner was: “Maryland — wait, we can explain.”
Hmmm. But how exactly do you explain a police state?
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.