From the Annals of Police Militarization: GA SWAT Burn Toddler With Stun Grenade

Toddler burned by stun grenade (courtesy nydailynews.com)

As much as we bemoan the fact that facts don’t trump emotion when it comes to public debate about public safety (e.g., the post-Newtown civilian disarmament surge), they don’t. Most people make decisions based on emotion. Hundreds of innocent lives have been lost and thousands of innocent people have been terrorized by heavy-handed, bone-headed, military-style police tactics spawned by the deeply misguided War on Drugs. But it takes one “poster child” to “bring it home.” Here is that story [via nydailynews.com]. . .

A 19-month-old boy is fighting for his life after a SWAT team threw a stun grenade into his crib during an overnight home raid, the toddler’s family says.

Police were looking for Wanis Thometheva, who sold methamphetamine to an undercover officer Tuesday evening, police said.

But when the team raided his Georgia home, the Phonesavanh family was inside — not Thometheva.

Police tossed a distraction grenade through the door. It landed on 19-month-old Bounkham “Bou Bou” Phonesavanh’s pillow.

Bou Bou suffered serious burns and is now in a medically induced coma . . .

The sheriff’s department called the incident a “terrible accident” but said the unit followed raid protocol.

The stun grenade is a standard device used to distract suspects so officers can enter homes safely, Habersham County Sheriff Joey Terrell told the newspaper.

“There was no clothes, no toys, nothing to indicate that there was children present in the home. If there had been then we’d have done something different,” Cornelia Police Chief Rick Darby told WSB-TV

Other than the van with the car seats and all. But if you think that excuse is bad, check this other statement from Terrell [via accessnorthgeorgia.com]:

“The person I blame in this whole thing is the person selling the drugs,” Terrell said. “Wanis Thonetheva, that’s the person I blame in all this. They are no better than a domestic terrorist, because they don’t care about families – they didn’t care about the family, the children living in that household – to be selling dope out of it, to be selling methamphetamine out of it. All they care about is making money. 

“They don’t care about what it does to families,” Terrell said. “It’s domestic terrorism and I think we should treat them as such. I don’t know where we can go with that, but that’s my feelings on it. It just makes me so angry! I get so mad that they don’t care about what they do, they don’t care about the families or the people they’re selling to.”

Yeah, OK, sure. I blame the bad guy for your decision (with a judge’s approval) to take down a meth dealer [in what looks like a suburban neighborhood] with a no-knock raid – rather than walking up to the door and knocking on it or arresting the bad guy outside the home. Because you don’t want a bad guy to destroy evidence, it’s OK to risk destroying the lives of innocent Americans.

Need I point out that this is not the first “controversial” incident involving Terrell’s team? Click here for a story on a baptist preacher shot and killed when fleeing police.

Anyway, never mind police militarization’s encroachment on your civil liberties and Constitutionally protected rights. Check out the baby photo. Had enough yet? [h/t AE, J]