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GA - Baby in coma after police 'grenade' dropped in crib during drug raid

Discussion in 'Crimes-Spotlight on Children' started by panthera, Jun 1, 2014.

  1. panthera

    panthera Retired WS Staff

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    BABY IN COMA AFTER POLICE 'GRENADE' DROPPED IN CRIB DURING DRUG RAID

    Saturday, May 31, 2014
    A Georgia toddler has been put into a medically induced coma after he was badly burned by a police "flash bang" grenade that landed in the crib where the boy was sleeping during a drug raid, his mother told ABC News today.

    The raid occurred before dawn Wednesday night in Habersham County while the Phonesavanh family was sleeping.

    "It was a big flash, a loud bang, a bunch of yelling, and my son screaming," the boy's mom, Alecia Phonesavanh, 27, told ABC News.

    [​IMG]

    more at http://abc30.com/news/baby-in-coma-after-police-grenade-dropped-in-crib-during-drug-raid/87718/
     
  2. LolaMoon08

    LolaMoon08 Well-Known Member

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    Poor baby.

    First and foremost, I am going to just put it out there right now and say that I do not like the whole "informant" tactic. I don't trust them and I think that only trained LE should be doing this job (infiltrating known drug operations) not a bunch of drug addicted criminals.

    Having said that. I'd like to know how long this house was being investigated by LE? Usually cases like these takes months and months of transactions. The family had been living there for 2 months.

    It also states that there were no drugs found in the raid, but that a nephew was arrested on drug charges later that day. So, was this arrest connected to the informant's transaction or an entirely different transaction?

    My heart goes out to the baby and I can only hope that he makes a full recovery, but I also have to put some blame on the parents for allowing their children to live in a home where they knew something wasn't right. If they knew there was drug activity, they should have been thinking about all the bad situations they could be putting their children in. From drive by shootings to armed robbery.

    Do I put some blame on LE? Yes. It seemed like a sloppy investigation all around. And they should be paying for the medical bills.

    MOO
     
  3. panthera

    panthera Retired WS Staff

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    Well stated. Blame can be directed toward both LE and the parents for putting their child in jeopardy. I believe the mother stated they were going to be moving out of there, however, she obviously didn't get the child out soon enough. No one should have children around drug deals/dealers.

    Praying this little boy recovers. It will be a long road and such an unnecessary tragedy.

    MOO
     
  4. Peachy

    Peachy New Member

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    Sheriff: Informant made drug buy at door of home
    No law enforcement officers entered home before raid that severely injured toddler


    HABERSHAM COUNTY, Ga. —

    Based on Sheriff Joey Terrel’s own statements and information in a search warrant, it appears a confidential informant never entered the home that was raided by a Habersham County swat team hours later.

    Channel 2 Action News has also learned that no members of law enforcement went into the Cornelia home May 28, the day of a drug raid that left a toddler in critical condition.
    http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/sheriff-informant-made-drug-buy-door-home/ngFbs/
     
  5. panthera

    panthera Retired WS Staff

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    First of all, thankfully the innocent child had the breathing tube removed so his face can heal, although he is still in a medically induced coma.

    My thoughts and prayers continue for his recovery, and to the family, who should not have to go through this ordeal.

    Clearly something was not right in this entire scenario if no one had actually been inside the house to see that there was not only the baby but other children inside.

    :mad:

    MOO
     
  6. Nasteria

    Nasteria Former Member

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    May God work miracles throughout this child's healing process.
     
  7. panthera

    panthera Retired WS Staff

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    Amen!

    :praying:
     
  8. SilkySifaka

    SilkySifaka Active Member

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    They have to sue, no way does that family have the money for medical bills and therapy if he recovers. They really have no choice

    And i am not sure the parents are at all to blame, first of all no one in their right mind would imagine a police officer would throw A GRENADE IN A CRIB!!

    Secondly I have read nothing to suggest they even knew there were drugs in the home.
     
  9. carbuff

    carbuff Well-Known Member

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    And when you don't have a lot of money, you might not have a lot of flexibility about when or where to move. Crime and poverty tend to go together. It's nice to say, "Yeah, get your kids out of that environment," but it can't always be done.
     
  10. Peachy

    Peachy New Member

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    Parents of baby injured in drug raid to meet with GBI

    HABERSHAM COUNTY, Ga. -- Dozens of people rallied outside the Habersham County courthouse this weekend to stop no knock warrants, after a toddler was injured during a drug raid.

    The parents of 19 month old Bou Phonesavanh are scheduled to meet with the GBI Monday morning.
    http://www.11alive.com/story/news/l...ham-baby-injured-drug-raid-meet-gbi/10198061/
     
  11. wendiesan

    wendiesan Active Member

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    While I agree your assessment of informant tactics, I must respectfully disagree with your willingness to assign any blame in this case to the parents of the child so badly injured in this incident. I think there are some things to consider when sharing blame.

    Things like the following. Who offered a deal to a drug informant? Who believed the informant? Who failed to verify the details of that informant's claim? Who failed to consider that the informant might be as skilled a liar as many addicts become? Who failed to make sure that this was not an act of revenge, or jealousy, or desperation? Who failed to examine the house to find out who lived there and when they had taken up residence? Who failed to investigate the occupants of the house? Who failed to accurately assess the situation on the ground and alter plans accordingly?

    AFAIK, not the parents.

    Who failed to plan steps LE officers could take to protect the children in that home? Was CPS present to take charge of the children should their parents have been arrested? Who failed to train LE officers to NOT TOSS LIVE AMMUNITION INTO A CRIB? Who approved this team? this raid? this level of violence? Who was playing with weapons as though they were toys? Who directed this pitiful excuse for a drug raid that was actually more like a domestic terrorist attack on babies?

    AFAIK, not the parents.

    Who did the weapons check? Who assigned the weapons? Who permitted the throwing of a grenade into a room of sleeping children? Who handed out the ammunition?

    AFAIK, not the parents.

    IMO, every person in that team should be held responsible. Every person who approved the operation at every step in its development should be held responsible. The first person into the house who saw there were children present and yet did nothing to stop the operation should be held responsible. The cowboy who knowingly threw a live grenade into a crib with a terrified baby should have to pay for this for the rest of that child's life. The person who led this raid should pay for this for the rest of that child's life. The department that failed in the planning and execution should have to pay for this for the rest of that child's life. Here, I'm just speculating about what might need to be paid for as the assessment of the baby's injuries continues. The medical bills for hospitals, surgeons, nurses, speech therapists and other specialists just to start with. And, ironically, all the DRUGS that will be required. The rehab therapy bills. The psychological counselling bills. The bills for possible prosthetics needed to replace body part damaged beyond repair by the live grenade tossed into the crib. The damage to the child's hearing and the operations and aids therefore needed. The damage to his sight and the operations and aids therefore needed. The possible damage to the child's brain from the concussions that may have happened and all the therapies that may be required as a result. The special education that may be required. The costs of post-secondary education and further training should also be paid for, because there may be special tutoring or other assistance required as a result of this raid. The ongoing pain therapy for burn and blast victims may also be needed. In fact, the bills not just for the baby's therapy, but for the counselling and medical therapies that will also be needed for the child's parents and other members of the family are also the responsibility of the LE department who put together this raid with this team.

    Not the parents.

    IMO, the person who came up with the idiotic policy of believing a drug addict without verifying EVERY detail, should be held responsible.

    Also, I take issue with your presumption that by having to live in a particular neighbourhood, the parents can be blamed for LE failures and other dangers. However, I do find it interesting that you are equating drive-by shootings (ie. criminal activities) with drug raids (ie. LE business). Variations of this little operation could happen in the best of neighbourhoods, IMO, and the parents would still not be able to control anything about it. All it takes is an addict or a pusher with an ax to grind, with access to a telephone and with the knowledge that giving information to LE about drugs will greatly reduce a potential sentence.

    In addition, IMO, the p.r. fallout from this disastrous raid is going to make life a lot more difficult for all the professional, wonderful, dedicated LE officers who are involved in these kind of raids as part of their work. It tarnishes the badge and undermines the respect for officers who endanger their lives going after the top levels of illegal drug networks where a raid of this magnitude might be appropriate. I'm afraid that LE officers on highway patrol, or on the beat--more visible roles in the larger community, are going to have to do a lot of repair work on top of their regular duties.

    These are just my opinions.
     
  12. Solitaryone

    Solitaryone New Member

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    Wendiesan, hitting the "Thank's" button just was not enough! I so agree with what you've said, and Thank You for your post! What the hell are LE throwing grenades into people's homes for anyway?? I hope that all involved in this "raid" are brought up on criminal charges, and they should pay for everything this baby and the family will need. It is very frightening that LE is lobbing grenades into people's homes! The public should be outraged and very concerned!

    I pray this baby makes a full recovery.
     
  13. Ausgirl

    Ausgirl Enough Is Enough!

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    Grenades.

    Something you'd expect from a war zone. And not a metaphorical one. WTH, police using grenades against citizens.

    Also, if they knew NOTHING about what or who was in there - what if it was a meth lab instead of a baby's crib? How many people, including officers and innocents, could have been harmed?

    Can police really do this to citizens? What about all those rights all your soldiers have fought for, all your great men have petitioned for?

    Is it really such a police state over there?
     
  14. SilkySifaka

    SilkySifaka Active Member

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    Wonderful post, ITA
     
  15. MissJ

    MissJ New Member

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    JMO the parents are not to blame. Years ago when I lived in Dayton, Ohio police did a no knock drug raid on a house and shot a man who jumped up with a gun when they kicked down the door. They were wrong. They found no drugs. The poor man was startled and scared. LE later said they had the wrong house.
     
  16. carbuff

    carbuff Well-Known Member

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    Sadly, there have been dozens of incidents like this over the last 20 years.
     
  17. wendiesan

    wendiesan Active Member

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    19 month old Bounkham Phonesavanah's family is contesting County Sheriff Joey Terrell's claim that police “didn’t see anything to indicate that there was a child in the house.” His mother says that an old playpen was outside, as were child carseats. The Phonesavanah's were in a relative's Atlanta home because their Wisconsin home had burned down.

    Terrell had also claimed that the judge assigned to investigating the incident had told him that "there was nothing to investigate." Mountain Judicial Circuit District Attorney Brian Rickman has denied the claim.

    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2014/06/05/3445048/swat-grenade-toddler/
     
  18. wendiesan

    wendiesan Active Member

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    The failure of the SWAT team to properly check out the house could have had even worse consequences. There were at least four children in the house that night. The suspect they failed to apprehend no longer lived at that house, and, in fact, was arrested, apparently without pyrotechnics, at a different house.

    Bou Bou's mother described his injures to reporters.

    The family has no insurance, and may be trying to raise funds.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nat...injured-police-raid-ga-home-article-1.1811117
     
  19. Ausgirl

    Ausgirl Enough Is Enough!

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    bbm - This is going to make butt-covering, victim-blaming tactics *really* difficult...
     
  20. wendiesan

    wendiesan Active Member

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    I have come across additional information and wanted to clarify some points. My apologies if this has already been posted.

    The Phonesavanh parents have told reporters that they were aware of drug activity in the house, but ""they kept the children out of sight in a different room while any of these going-ons were happening." There is no question that, at the time of the raid, there were no drugs or weapons in the house. The nephew was at a different location where he and three other people were arrested.

    The baby's parents were not part of any drug activities, and, IIRC, were planning to leave the house with their family the following morning. Still, I think there will be more negative comments about the parents than I anticipated.

    That said, I will stand by my previous comments that the SWAT team leaders and their supervising officers did not check out the information from their source who, obviously, lied. The SWAT team's informant, told police that
    Why would a seasoned LE officer just take the word of an informant without verifying the information?

    I still feel that the tactics used were inappropriate--if there had been a meth lab in the house, the grenade could have caused a devastating explosion in the house and resulted in injuries to the team as well as the perpetrator as well as anyone else in the house, and possibly to neighbours. If the team had placed the house under surveillance, they would have seen who was entering and leaving, seen the children, and could have revised their plans. IMO, the sheriff's insistence that the team had no idea children were in the house is actually an indictment of his investigative techniques.

    It just looks to me, and this is JMO, as though this raid was being used as a chance for the team to try out their equipment and send a message to low level drug dealers. Given that LE had set up a buy the night before, it would have been pretty easy to set up another buy and just grab the alleged dealer when he showed up.

    Apparently the members of the SWAT team have been on the receiving end of negative comments from the public.

    The writers of this article mention that at the time of publication, no member of the SWAT team had been suspended. However the nephew is facing some difficulties. In addition to being charged with distribution of meth,
    http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/30/us/georgia-toddler-injured-stun-grenade-drug-raid/

    Please note: In my first post, I wondered if CPS was on site in case there were children present. Apparently not, as children being in the house was not a possibility the team had even taken into consideration in their plans. However, there was a medic on the site with the SWAT team who was able to begin first aid right away. Weather did not permit a medevac transport of the baby, so Bou Bou was driven to the hospital. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, has been told the boy has a 50/50 chance of surviving.

    (http://rt.com/usa/162580-toddler-burned-flashbang-crib/)
     

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