SWAT throws flash grenade into crib, GA child severely burned

Big ChiefBig Chief Senior MemberPosts: 32,995 Senior Member
Oh man, no excuse for this, just plain stupidity. I know SWAT didn't purposely throw a FB grenade into a playpen with a sleeping baby inside, but better surveillance/verification could have prevented this from ever happening in the first place.


Click to see video:

http://www.waff.com/story/25651908/swat-team-throws-grenade-into-crib-child-severely-burned

"HABERSHAM COUNTY, GA (WSB/CNN) - A SWAT team drug raid went horribly wrong when a "flash-bang" grenade critically burned a toddler that authorities did not know was there.

"Those cops busted in the door and threw the grenade without even looking first," said Alecia Phonesavanh, the child's mother, on Thursday. "And it went right in his playpen and exploded on his pillow, right in his face."

The 19-month-old boy was sent to a burn unit for treatment and has been induced into a coma.

A confidential informant told the county's special response team a drug deal was made in the home. The team went in on a "no-knock" warrant" for an alleged methamphetamine dealer at 2 a.m. Wednesday.

"There was no clothes, no toys, nothing to indicate that there was children present in the home," said Sheriff Joey Terrell. "If there had been then we'd have done something different."

The Phonesavanhs said they had just moved into the home from Wisconsin after their own home had burned down. The family of six said they did not have insurance, so they had set up a fund to cover medical expenses.

The 30-year-old man authorities were looking for was not there at the time. He was arrested later at another house on a felony drug charge of meth distribution.

Terrell said a pastor had spoken with the team, and he described the members as emotionally distraught. He pledged they would "be more careful the next time."
It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!

Replies

  • MichakavMichakav Senior Member Posts: 2,444 Senior Member
    http://forums.gunsandammo.com/showthread.php?19690-No-knock-warrant-strikes-again!!!

    You did a much better job though.

    Mods can delete mine.
  • CaliFFLCaliFFL Senior Member Posts: 4,845 Senior Member
    "
    There was no clothes, no toys, nothing to indicate that there was children present in the home," said Sheriff Joey Terrell. "If there had been then we'd have done something different."

    They were looking for clothes and toys at 2 AM, but missed the playpen, huh? BS. They didn't know that new people occupied the residence? BS.

    If this was my kid, they'd better sleep with one eye open. It is pretty easy to throw things into windows at 2 AM.
    The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me.

    Ayn Rand
  • BufordBuford Senior Member Posts: 6,664 Senior Member
    Big Chief wrote: »
    Oh man, no excuse for this, just plain stupidity. He pledged they would "be more careful the next time."

    And there will be another next time with the same results. No LEO will be held accountable.
    Just look at the flowers Lizzie, just look at the flowers.
  • BAMAAKBAMAAK Senior Member Posts: 4,323 Senior Member
    There is no accountability anywhere else in gov't, why should cops be any different. If I sat on the jury of the upcoming lawsuit, I'd bankrupt the city, perhaps that would make them think twice next time. Money is the only thing that talks in this country.
    "He only earns his freedom and his life Who takes them every day by storm."

    -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and politician
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 10,323 Senior Member
    It was a stupid thing to do at an unlikely hour. Something like 3 am, if what I read is correct. I'd like to see the justification for a no-knock. I'd also like to see the SWAT team's qualifications. Maybe the guy was a thug, but where it happened is where I grew up. Habersham County, GA. All has changed since I lived there, maybe the guy was a cartel member, but still I'd have to see the justification.

    I worked dope for 10 years or so in Athens, GA and I can't ever remember serving a no-knock warrant. I've been denied entry after announcing and kicked in a few doors, but generally was able to gather entrance simply by showing my badge and a copy of the warrant. or using subterfuge, pretending to be a meter reader, whatever. I was a supervisor for 14 years and NEVER authorized a no-knock warrant. In GA, if someone enters your house by force you're justified in using deadly force unless they announce. A no-knock invites disaster. They're just to dangerous for everyone involved. The reason for a no-knock (in my experience) is only if by knocking, the officer's life is in danger. I can't remember if there was justification if you could articulate evidence being destroyed, I suppose that existed. Back then when I was doing it, I NEVER felt endangered enough to no-knock. Sure, there was the possibility of them flushing the dope, but the quantities I was after couldn't be flushed.
    Not too many problems you can't fix
    With a 1911 and a 30-06
  • coolgunguycoolgunguy Senior Member Posts: 6,503 Senior Member
    But it's for the kids!


    No-knocks are getting completely out of hand and an almost total lack of accountability is (IMO) the reason why. I don't believe that the JBT threw the FB into the crib purposefully, nor do I believe that this is all part of a sinister plan to cow the populace into submission...but I can see how someone would. I'm sorry, but it appears that the ONLY thought concerning actions like this is 'Making it home each night'. It's no surprise to me that these things happen when there really is no concern whatsoever regarding the safety of those 'civilians'. I don't blame cops for wanting to survive to fight again another day, but what difference is there in being caught in the crossfire between thugs on a playground or being gunned down (or grenaded) by JBTs? Seems to be same-same to me, except the illegal thugs are (sometimes) held accountable for their misdeeds and likely end up in an early grave. The legal ones get 'administrative leave' and a taxpayer-funded retirement plan.
    "Bipartisan" usually means that a bigger than normal deception is happening.
    George Carlin
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 26,190 Senior Member
    The guy they were looking for wasn't even there at the time of the raid. Looks like Surveillance 101 would be to ensure the target is there before raiding the place; kind of hard to arrest someone who isn't there. That would also go along with knowing who was in the house at the time of the raid. These clowns make the Keystone Cops look like the real professionals.
    If the U.S. Congress was put in charge of the Sahara Desert, there would be a shortage of sand in under six months.



  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    I hope that child makes a full recovery and my :angel2::angel2: are with the family.

    They get a good lawyer all their medical expenses and the kids college will be paid fer with a bundle left over.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • HAWKENHAWKEN Senior Member Posts: 1,688 Senior Member
    A 36 year career in law enforcement taught me that every story is like a pancake, no matter how thin it is, there are always two sides. Everyone tells their side of the story to portray their selves in the best light. Right now, all we have heard is a report, from a liberal biased media........Robin
    I don't often talk to people that voted for Obama, but when I do I order large fries!
    Life member of the American Legion, the VFW, the NRA and the Masonic Lodge, retired LEO
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    HAWKEN wrote: »
    A 36 year career in law enforcement taught me that every story is like a pancake, no matter how thin it is, there are always two sides. Everyone tells their side of the story to portray their selves in the best light. Right now, all we have heard is a report, from a liberal biased media........Robin

    You are correct and I appreciate your LEO service, but this instance just smells from the get-go.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 10,323 Senior Member
    I served 33 years as a LEO and for the life of me can't see how this story can be spun any other way except BAD. Habersham County, where this happened, is where I grew up, and it isn't a ghetto where armed gangs might justify a no-knock warrant under exceptional circumstances.

    As for surveillance to determine if the target is there, sometimes it just isn't possible, but there are other ways around that.
    Not too many problems you can't fix
    With a 1911 and a 30-06
  • CaliFFLCaliFFL Senior Member Posts: 4,845 Senior Member
    Throwing flash grenades into homes without knowing what is inside should be criminal action. The cops have burned (and killed) a lot of innocents, burned homes down, burned entire apartments to the ground, and killed themselves with the damned things. One SWAT team actually threw one into what they thought was a meth manufacturing operation. That sounds like attempted murder, except there was no meth operation.
    A few courts have found flashbangs excessive when used in some circumstances. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled in 2004 that police violated a suspect’s Fourth Amendment rights when they “blindly” tossed a flash grenade into a house despite having no idea who was inside. But the same court also ruled that even though the officers violated the suspects rights, they were protected by qualified immunity.

    Legalized terrorism is all that is.


    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2014/05/30/georgia-toddler-critically-injured-by-polices-flash-grenade/
    The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me.

    Ayn Rand
  • pjames777pjames777 Senior Member Posts: 1,078 Senior Member
    I have trouble with a flash grenade and meth.....what if they were "cookin" in the house......major chemicals and boom boom???? Sorry, at 3a.m. do not get it.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 26,190 Senior Member
    Gene L wrote: »
    I served 33 years as a LEO and for the life of me can't see how this story can be spun any other way except BAD. Habersham County, where this happened, is where I grew up, and it isn't a ghetto where armed gangs might justify a no-knock warrant under exceptional circumstances.

    As for surveillance to determine if the target is there, sometimes it just isn't possible, but there are other ways around that.

    That single statement is a big part of the problem. If they don't know who is in the house and where the occupants, especially children, are likely located the blindly throwing in a flashbang grenade is as criminally ignorant as a stupid hunter taking a 'sound shot' and killing another hunter. If the frackin' cops ain't got time to do it right, then THEY HAVE NO BUSINESS DOING IT AT ALL. Period. No excuses, and no faux emotional distress over the screwups.

    Qualified immunity has got to be done away with for the most part. That's another part of the problem. No more free rides and sure and certain jail time for killing and maiming innocent people, and wanton destruction of private property.
    If the U.S. Congress was put in charge of the Sahara Desert, there would be a shortage of sand in under six months.



  • Pelagic KayakerPelagic Kayaker Banned Posts: 1,503 Senior Member
    Big Chief wrote: »


    He pledged they would "be more careful the next time."

    ...they'll throw two instead of one.
    "The reflection upon my situation and that of this army produces many an uneasy hour when all around me are wrapped in sleep. Few people know the predicament we are in" ~General George Washington, January 14, 1776
  • BAMAAKBAMAAK Senior Member Posts: 4,323 Senior Member
    Big Chief wrote: »
    I hope that child makes a full recovery and my :angel2::angel2: are with the family.

    They get a good lawyer all their medical expenses and the kids college will be paid fer with a bundle left over.

    Did you see that kids face? I don't think money will compensate for all the pain/surgeries and lifelong humiliation that baby will be going through.
    "He only earns his freedom and his life Who takes them every day by storm."

    -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and politician
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