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Law Enforcement Incidents In Prince George's County Raise Eyebrows

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Law enforcement in Prince George's County has come under fire after recent incidents involving police.
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Law enforcement in Prince George's County has come under fire after recent incidents involving police.

By Rebecca Sheir

Police in Prince George's County, Maryland are investigating yesterday's double-shooting involving sheriff's deputies. After county police beat students at the University of Maryland last month, this morning's incident is raising eyebrows about law enforcement in the county.

State Senator Paul Pinsky says he hesitates to connect last month's beatings and yesterdays shooting.

"It's hard to tell whether the last two incidents were a trend or just a blip on the screen," says Pinksy. "But I think you want to have a police force that's keeping crime down, but also being sensitive to the needs of the community."

Mayor Cheye Calvo of Berwyn Heights, Maryland, had his own run-in with the law in 2008, when a county SWAT team mistakenly raided his home and shot his dogs. The incident drew national publicity.

"Prince George's County suffers from a poor perception in the region," says Calvo, "and I think we certainly have done things that have been national embarrassments."

Calvo says stronger civilian leadership could improve that perception.

"Allowing law enforcement to go out on their own and oversee themselves doesn't work," he says. "So until we have the civilian leadership demand better, we're going to get more of the same."

Calvo says he looks forward to this Fall's county executive election. One of the candidates is Michael Jackson, the sheriff of Prince George's County.

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