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]

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

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

  1. avatarGeneral Zod says:

    Generally the presence of a crib is an indication that there may be a child present…you know, like the crib the cop threw the flash-bang into…Chief Darby is covering for the idiot who threw the grenade, and he’s assuming everyone listening to him is too stupid to think critically.

    • avatarBR549 says:

      Great fcuking intel, there, Sheriff Darby. Wow!

      BTW, exactly at what point does the well being of innocent civilians take precedence over your party games?

      • avatarJus Bill says:

        See, the SWAT morons are civilians too, notwithstanding their HSLD “Operator as Fsck” toyz.

        It’s time for a whopping big civil suit directed at everyone involved in that raid. “Bou Bou” Phonesavanh should be set through the graduation from Harvard or Yale, including plastic surgery, counseling and “Pain and Suffering”. And God help them if Bou Bou dies – that’s Wrongful Death. Bad Ju-Ju; just ask OJ.

        • avatarStuki says:

          They’re not civilians unless they are treated the same under the law. I can’t even buy a stun grenade, much less get away with chucking one into a crib for kicks.

          They’re an occupying army. Should be treated accordingly. Whatever that may lead to. Worst case, Mogadishu in the 90s. Which is, honestly, still an improvement over were we are/are heading.

        • Heard another interview today and the Chief is playing the “victim of death threats card”.

      • avatarWilliam Burke says:

        I don’t know how much more of the murderous adventurism we can be expected to TAKE.

        [Aaggh. Head in hands] I don’t know whether I should be more, or more depressed.

        God, this has GOT to stop! WE have been framed as the ENEMY of America! Jeezus H. Christ.

    • avatarBDub says:

      Not to forget his excuse about entering the house with a stun grenade – presumably to toss one into a crib in the baby’s room you would have already need to be in the house.

    • avatarjustAMan says:

      This is actually a friend’s nephew. If you are interested in donating to the costs of medical expenses: http://www.gofundme.com/9mih84

      • avatarJus Bill says:

        I’d be interested in donating to a lawyer to sue the sh1t out of everyone involved, including the guy who put gas in the Suburban.

        This would be a war crime if done by a military team.

        • avatarJR says:

          And really destroy the public mouthpiece that is making excuses for this behavior. He was the CLEO, afterall…so where does the buck stop? Is he good enough to claim the mantle of leadership and responsibility?

          Or is he a coward hiding behind the skirts of the blame game.

        • avatarwhatever says:

          It’s too bad you can’t sue the politicians and judges enabling this mess.

        • avatarWilliam Burke says:

          This looks like WAR to me, Jus Bill, and we are all the enemy. Ohhh, I can’t take this crap anymore!

      • avatarAnother Robert says:

        If there is one (1) halfway competent lawyer in the state of Georgia, the county is going to be paying those medical bills, and a helluva lot more.

    • avatarjh says:

      I was taught to look where i am going to throw a grenade

  2. avatarEms_92 says:

    Of course this won’t make the news

    • I heard the story on the morning drive radio news this morning, not to mention the three separate news sources linked in the article.

    • avatarmurray says:

      you mean its not for the children after all

      • avatarJus Bill says:

        Only certain children. Not yours or mine.

        • avatarDrew says:

          Its for the ahem.. white children. I promise somewhere in the US in an urban hellhole within a day or two of the latest “tragic” shooting of 3 white kids in California as many black brown or otherwise undesirable children were gunned down, many more murdered by other means and countless more from countless other causes and all they amount to in the eyes of antis is statistics. Unless the black kid is killed buy a white guy, or an Hispanic guy easily confused for a white guy.

        • avatarAnother Robert says:

          The only thing easy about confusing Zimmerman with a white guy was the name. He was darker than one of the black deputies escorting him to court for his first appearance.

        • avatarJus Bill says:

          Drew, you nailed it. Chiraq doesn’t even merit a passing mention in the news. They post the body count with the box scores in the Sports section.

          Oh, and I came across a “white asian” description yesterday. WTH is that???

  3. avatarDon says:

    These no knock raids seem like an excuse to justify all the money spent on building militarized swat teams at every police station.

    • avatarTT says:

      Bingo! If you stop overusing military tactics, you don’t get to buy so many cool toys.

      • avatarTex300BLK says:

        Exactly with no need for full auto M4′s in every police cruiser’s trunk then there wont be generous law enforcement carve outs in proposed gun legislation, and in the absence of incentive to preserve cool toys for only themselves law enforcement will have no reason to politely sign off on the encroachment of our civil rights… this system is rotten from top to bottom.

        Sometimes I wish our police were like the British, give them a billy club and a roll of quarters to call for backup if they get in over their head.

        • avatarTodd S says:

          We can’t do that. Remember, there are no guns in (formerly) Great Britain. /snicker

        • avatarJus Bill says:

          Actually, the “Bobbies” are tooling up now. And the Guarda was never disarmed.

    • avatarDaveL says:

      I notice that one of the comments on the NY Daily News site said:

      Please demonstrate to the rest of the military and law enforcement community what the proper procedure is for breaching and clearing a room in close quarter battle.

      As if it were a fact beyond dispute that a search warrant constitutes a battle of any description.

    • avatarHannibal says:

      And the excuse for those things is the “war” on (anything) drugs.

    • avatarWilliam Burke says:

      Oh, I can’t TAKE this! My keyboard is covered with anger and tears….. this is a national disgrace! We should ALL be in the streets tomorrow, protesting, ANGRILY!

  4. avatarMorgan Y. says:

    I blame the stun grenade. Watching tv has told me objects can and will commit atrocious acts of harm. My emotive based reaction is to ban stun grenades.

    On a more serious note, the finger pointing is what really bothers me. Nothing will happen because the blame is placed on somebody else. No accountability taken except for when it’s somebody else’s and if it is, they’ll be hammered to oblivion until “justice” is appeased.

    • avatarKingSarc48265 says:

      No, wanna know the real reason nothing will happen?

      They are police officers.

      Paid vacation at most for Goober McStungrenade.

    • avatarbontai Joe says:

      That wasn’t a “stun grenade”. that was a “distraction device”. I wonder how long it took someone to come up with that new name? And it’s the baby’s family’s fault for not having a yard full of kids toys? What if while smashing the door against the playpen, they had crushed the baby? Whose fault would that have been? Apparently not the cops on THIS raid. These guys are not responsible for anything they do according to their past history. Maybe I should get some of those blow molded plastic toys for my yard, might save my life should the police screw up an address and hit my house while looking for someone else. I have already had the police use my cars in my driveway for cover while attempting an arrest at a neighbor’s house. On that occasion, the police situated themselves so that my home (with my family in it at the time) was immediately behind them, with my cars in front of them while attempting to arrest an active shooter. Thankfully, both my house and cars avoided any hits.

      • avatarJus Bill says:

        The grenade manufacturer had that name in the can right after the first injury and lawsuit.

  5. avatarborg says:

    Maybe they should either not do no knock warrants or replace the stun grenade with a smoke grenade.

    • avatarGeneral Zod says:

      So, trade one combustion source for another?

      Your first suggestion is the right one. They know this guy’s dealing, they know where he lives – a little surveillance is all it would take to nab him as he’s leaving the house instead of just randomly showing up when he’s not even there, terrorizing people who aren’t selling drugs, and disfiguring (and possibly killing) a toddler.

    • I vote for the end to no knock warrants. A smoke grenade would obscure the vision of the SWAT team so what would happen then? They would open fire into the home blindly. They might as well hit every target Waco style.

    • avatarPublius says:

      Even better, stop sending hit squads to murder people over selling f-ing drugs. If you want to make it a crime to sell drugs to kids (just like it is with tobacco and alcohol), fine – but an adult has every right to make the decision on if they want to tear up their body by doing drugs.

      • avatarThomasR says:

        This self-righteous, self-certainty; this arrogant, dictatorial, control freak sickness; a twisted and perverted need to control another persons free choice; is beyond comprehension to me.

        Until people recognize this twisted need to control another human being as a sickness, and needs to be cured; we will continue to see this rape; this violation, will continue of the most basic of rights of a human being.

        • avatarJus Bill says:

          CORRECT!

        • avatarWilliam Burke says:

          Absolutely. This hurts my soul. This has GOT TO STOP! Cops are being taught that AMERICAN CITIZENS are ENEMIES OF THE STATE. My heart aches, and words completely fail me.

          We need to call this by its proper name: ATROCITY!!

          LOOK AT THAT BABY!!! Where, oh WHERE, is the voice of SHANNON WATTS in this?

          You effing BITCH MONSTER.

      • avatarHannibal says:

        I recently saw some idiot write an article on Slate about how we should triple alcohol taxes, and this was the sub-title: “The war on drugs has been a failure. But the war on booze deserves a second chance.”

        People just can’t leave well enough alone.

        • avatarJus Bill says:

          It’s called “The Circle of Stupidity.” Every generation runs out of new things to do, and then some politician says the equivalent of “Hold my beer and watch this…”

  6. avatarWayne says:

    If I cover for a fellow coworker or friend who does something stupid/illegal, that makes me an accessory to the crime. If I do the same but I wear a badge, then I’m holding the blue line.

    Cops cannot think critically.

  7. avatarI_Like_Pie says:

    The guy threw a grenade into a baby crib and the excuse given was
    …“The person I blame in this whole thing is the person selling the drugs,” Terrell said.
    Oh lordy. They are losing the war on drugs and on public support.

    • avatarWilliam Burke says:

      END THE WAR ON DRUGS, which is a war on America. I don’t know who the cops will go hunting next, but I’m old, and I kinda hope they’ll come to my door, so I can take out as many of the FASCIST PIGS as I can, before they kill me.

      Is there anyone here who supports this? NOW is the time for you to spew your Nazi nonsense!

  8. avatardph says:

    Why wasn’t he arrested immediately after the sale to the undercover officer? Oh, I forgot the cop’s safety trumps everything else.

    • avatarFull Cleveland says:

      Excellent point and I guess nobody will fight the the rights of the baby.

    • avatarJR says:

      I don’t know in this particular case, but one thing our agency did every year was buy from small-timers and just hold the evidence.

      Then, once a year, they had a big “round up” where they went out and arrested all those folks they had not gotten earlier. It was a big media event. 10′s of arrests in one night, making the streets safer for the average citizen. Local leaders came out for photo ops. A big deal.

      What it really was was a colossal failure at anything approaching practical usefulness. Photo op was ALL it was….big story in the paper, and forgotten the next day.

      All for penny ante street deals that amounted to at-most plea deals and no major players at all. No, if they were major players with propensity to violence, they were not put on the ‘hold it for the round up’ list.

      So much of the WoD is dog-and-pony show…and outright corruption. The first step in correcting this abomination is repeal of the Asset Forfeiture laws; cut off the money pipeline as incentive for cops and governments to keep drug crime in place.

      • avatarJus Bill says:

        The WoD is a money-,aking career enterprise for those executing it.

        - The three-letter agencies get big $$$$, creds, kewel toyz and retirement;
        - The state and local cops get the same;
        - The mid- and high-level dealers and producers get obscenely rich;
        - The pols get photo ops, sound bites and infinite reelection opportunities; and
        - Low-level offenders get screwed for life. But who cares?

        • avatarJR says:

          Check out “Operation Ready-Rock” from Chapel Hill, NC in the 1990′s.

          No general warrants allowed in the US, eh?

        • avatarWilliam Burke says:

          And one and all sell the drugs on the street. Words fail me.

    • avatarAnother Robert says:

      My question exactly. Worried about him destroying evidence? He handed the evidence to the undercover officer!! This is just crazy.

  9. avatarJohn says:

    We need to take these criminals off the street. They attack innocent citizens and terrorize our communities. Start with should-be felon who threw the grenade and his chief for obstruction of justice; make examples out of them and get justice for the victims. For the children.

    • Step 1)…………………?

      • avatarJohn says:

        “Start with should-be felon who threw the grenade and his chief for obstruction of justice; make examples out of them and get justice for the victims.”

        Generally, hold individual officers accountable for felonious actions in the course of duty, at the very least in cases where they injure, kill, or cause major property damage to entirely incorrect persons who are not under suspicion of wrongdoing in the case.

        As it stands, there is literally no repercussion to getting it all wrong and raiding the wrong house, shooting the wrong people, etc.

        • avatarwhatever says:

          Getting that law implemented would require pressuring politicians, and no politician wants to get cops and prosecutors on their bad side.

      • avatarJR says:

        The first step is getting rid of qualified immunity for ALL cases of clear abuse of “privilege.”

        Each case needs to be closely examined; immunity serves a purpose to a limit, but cannot / should not be used as justification for what amounts to cold blooded murder, or the attempt thereof.

        Another PARALLEL first step is to outlaw no-knock. It is wrong, fraught with error, and has not born out its claimed usefulness in practice.

        Judges are supposed to BALANCE citizen rights vs government need. There is no balance with no-knock as it’s practiced today. It’s pure abuse. Far too many innocents have been hurt or killed.

        Good place to drop this link:

        http://www.cato.org/raidmap

        • avatarJus Bill says:

          “Judges are supposed to BALANCE citizen rights vs government need.”

          Since judges are appointed by the Government, who do you think they’ll defer to?

        • avatarJR says:

          I know who they are supposed to defer to … some little bit about “We the People” and all.

          The point is, no-knock is so far beyond where proper balance “should be.”

        • avataruncommon_sense says:

          “… [no-knock warrants] has not born out its claimed usefulness in practice.”

          No-knock warrants have served a non-publicly claimed usefulness for our “betters”.

      • avatarWilliam Burke says:

        The force will award these murderers. Are you talking about the COURTS? Corrupt to the core. YOU TELL ME.

  10. avatarCharles5 says:

    I don’t have a problem with the Police in theory. However, in practice I find most law enforcement to be nothing more than an incompetent clown show or a never ending production of sequels to Jacka$$.

  11. avatarunsure says:

    I keep hearing about all this craziness, what’s going on in this darn world and what’s the end game.

    • The child grows up, goes to college using a settlement put in a trust for him. He runs for mayor of Atlanta as a Democrat and wins in a landslide with his scared face telling a compelling story that tugs at the heart string of the Liberal voters. He builds up the police force in his city and perpetuates the thuggery in uniform. It’s for the kids.

      This is no country for old men.

    • avatarJus Bill says:

      The end game is a full-on Fascist Police State.

    • avatarWilliam Burke says:

      You and I are the End Game. This is a Killing Game, and we are all the next targets.

  12. avatarstateisevil says:

    What’s the big deal? There was “dope” in the house. “Dope” is a far greater evil than a little discomfort for a baby. I support law enforcement, without them “dope” would attack all of our children and the terrorists would get us. They just want to go home at the end of their shift. All officers are heroes.

    • avatarRed Sox says:

      I sure hope you are kidding. If not then you are the biggest d – bag I’ve seen on here, a little discomfort for the baby? If you have or plan to have kids I hope they grow up troubled and are a burden to you and eventually end up killing you in a slow, painful, horrifying death.

      • avatarDaveL says:

        I think it’s pretty clear the sarcasm here was being laid on with a masonry trowel.

      • avatarWilliam Burke says:

        He’s kidding. But I’m not in the mood to be “kidded”. I’m trying to hold myself together until tomorrow. Maybe that’s where I’m wrong. Tell me, why should we not be killing these monsters as fast as we can?

    • avatarDisThunder says:

      Yup. When we say “for the children,” we mean for OUR children, we actually don’t give a shit about other people’s kids.
      #stungrenadesense

  13. avatarMartin says:

    Time to ban no knock raids. “For the children “

    • avatarS.CROCK says:

      That is sure one “for the children” statement I can get behind.

    • avatarWilliam Burke says:

      Ban no-knock raids, and these fascist motherfuckers will just go shooting us down in the streets, like dogs!

      KILLERS! THEY’RE PAID KILLERS!!

  14. avatarjh says:

    Don’t worry it is all about the police’s safety . They don’t mind because you don’t matter. With police like this i think i would rather deal with the criminals . Don’t worry the police who did this won’t lose any sleep they are just worried about protecting their benefits it might take a bit for all of them to get their story straight. There must be a very low IQ threshold to be a policeman there

  15. avatargreat unknown says:

    American civilians have fewer protections than foreign terrorists. They have protection via the Geneva Conventions. We have police and judicial immunity, and Scalia’s “New Professionalism.”

    • avatarJus Bill says:

      You got that right. The slugs in GITMO have better medical care than 99% of the veterans in this country.

      • avatarWilliam Burke says:

        Jus Bill, most of them are just goatherds who got swept up because they’re easy. If they’d been armed, different story. We’re just like them, and you’ll find that out, soon enough.

  16. avatarDonS says:

    I blame the CPSC.

    If the pyrotechnic component of flash bangs is metal plus an oxidizer (e.g. Al + KClO4), then they’re essentially M-80s. If the general public can’t be allowed to set off M-80s in their front yard, why does law enforcement get to throw them at toddlers?

    • avatarWilliam Burke says:

      You’re right, but they’re like quadruple m-80s. In college, some guys in my dorm put a humble cherry bomb in a trash can out back, with a cigarette fuse, and we watched the lid sail about 40 feet into the air.

      • avatarDonS says:

        Quadruple… so 12g of flash in a “stun grenade” vs. at most 3g in a typical M-80, cherry bomb, silver salute, etc.?

        While I cannot, of course, claim any first-hand knowledge, I did once hear that a friend of a friend was making “M-80s” with 10g of a 70/30 mix of KClO4/Al. Apparently, he was awfully close to the CPSC-approved LEO stun grenade. Maybe a couple more grams.

  17. avatarrammerjammer says:

    The cop probably thought that he saw a dog in the crib.

  18. avatarDaveL says:

    The stun grenade is a standard device used to distract suspects so officers can enter homes safely,

    Protip: If something you do puts a toddler in the hospital with a 50% chance of survival, you did not do it safely.

    Wanis Thonetheva, that’s the person I blame in all this. They are no better than a domestic terrorist

    Sure, the guy who sold a drug to another adult is the domestic terrorist. Not the people who broke into a home in the middle of the night and burned a toddler half to death.

    • Oh look, the terrorist thing again. When do we terrorists get our free AK’s? I mean, Obama sent them to Syria …

    • avatarArdent says:

      What’s sad and reprehensible is that he made those absurd statements with a straight face and no one (who matters in his situation) is taking him to task for it. Where is the media outrage?

    • avatarDarren says:

      This is the comment of the day, if not week, month or year

    • avatarTT says:

      “Sure, the guy who sold a drug to another adult [without getting permission from the government first] is the domestic terrorist. Not the people who broke into a home in the middle of the night and burned a toddler half to death.”

      Fixed it! In all seriousness, your comment makes the point excellently.

    • avatarPaul says:

      His first quote was entirely accurate. The police were completely safe from the infant when entering. It was completely distracted by the intense burning.

      He never said it was for other people to be safe, just for the police. You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs, and you can’t maintain police safety without burning a few children in his world view.

      • avatarDaveL says:

        Now there’s a good PR slogan. Habersham County Sheriff’s Office: You Can’t Make a Police State Without Breaking a Few Babies.

        Ok, so it needs a little work.

        • avatarJus Bill says:

          That slogan needs to go right under the Rotary and Lions Club signs when you enter Habersham County .

      • avatarWilliam Burke says:

        :(

  19. avatarShire-man says:

    At least those brave guardians of all that is holy got home safe. I can see Officer Insecure running down the street kicking dogs and shooting kids in the face because he has to hurry and get home safe.

  20. avatarDaveL says:

    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,

    Another data point in the disturbing trend that excuses police violence based on ignorance. When you’re clear of any liability as long as you didn’t know that (pick one: there was a child present, the suspect was unarmed, there were no drugs in the house, he had no terrorist ties, he had a medical condition, etc.) then what incentive do the police have to gather intelligence? Maximum ignorance guarantees maximum freedom of action.

  21. avatarKCK says:

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

    That means the raid or the protocol is wrong!
    Or Both.

    If it saves just one child, it is worth it.

    • avatarCharles5 says:

      I know right.

      Cop: “It is a terrible accident, but we followed raid protocol, so we are clear.”

      Reporter: “What was raid protocol?”

      Cop: “Kick down the door and shoot the place up. It’s not our fault that people got hurt in there. They should have been somewhere else when we got there”

      Reporter: “But, it was a no-knock raid. How would they know to go somewhere safe?”

      Cop: “Not my department.”

      • avatarArdent says:

        I don’t think this is an over-simplification. It’s horribly, insanely true.

        Since when is it legal to violently assault and possibly injure a suspect who isn’t resisting? How is it justifiable to destroy the property of a suspect wantonly? The very nature of no-knock is that those affected don’t have opportunity to surrender before the initial actions are taken. Everyone in the residence is subjected to an assault and or battery (the flash-bang) before the police even identify themselves. Then they proceed to destroy doors that might have been opened for them had they asked and smash in windows to gain access.

        I think William Blackstone’s formulary, “It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer”, applies here more than ever. I don’t care how many dopers flush their stash when the police knock if it prevents just one child getting it’s face immolated by a flashbang during a no-knock raid.

        That it would restore much of our civil liberties and protect the innocent aside, this single effect would make banning no-knocks worth while.

  22. avatarJC says:

    The dog is fine.

  23. avatarDickie J says:

    How about you arrest the guy when he’s selling you the drugs to your officer? But then those “public servants” wouldn’t get to play dress up with all their tacticool toys and frag some helpless toddler. What a bunch of assholes.

  24. avatarWI Patriot says:

    And they shall pay, severely…

    • avatarJus Bill says:

      You’re a funny guy.

      • avatarWilliam Burke says:

        No, Jus Bill… karma is real. Those monsters will spend hundreds of lifetimes as fleas or mosquitoes.

        The Cosmos has its own brand of justice, and this will be judged about as harshly as child rape….

        They won’t escape their justice, no way.

  25. avatarMarkPA says:

    “the unit followed raid protocol”. ‘I was just following orders’. Sounds just about the same thing.

  26. avatarAnonymous says:

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

    Maybe we should change protocol. Just because “protocol” was followed doesn’t justify it was right. Maybe they should have knocked on the door instead. Or… they could surround the building and make a megaphone announcement. So many possibilities and yet it was decided to go with the super cool police operator syndrome choice.

  27. avatarMerits says:

    If it’s all the drug dealers’ fault, why not just drone the home when he’s there and put all the blame for any collateral damage on him? With all this domestic terrorism talk, I suppose that’s what they are softening us up for.

    • avatarArdent says:

      Well, that solution would provide for 100% officer safety. I think it’s a great idea!

  28. avatarJPD says:

    Oh come on!! One ( or 10,000, but who’s counting?) little mistake. Our poor LEO’s, who daily put their lives in danger writing tickets and extorting money and sex from citizens. IF IT SAVES ONE POLICEMANS LIFE!!! It is worth it.

    Not to worry, the brainwashing of the American people continues. Telling us daily how law enforcement is so WONDERFUL, BRAVE, EFFICIENT, HONEST, HARDWORKING.

    • avatarWilliam Burke says:

      There is a woman in my complex who has hooked on occasion. I know she’s been busted, because cops come by at night, and stay a long, long time. And I mean two, three cops at a time.

      She has two young children. I wish I had a decent outlet for the outrage I feel, but I don’t.

  29. avatarDaniel says:

    And to think, with a little patience and hard work, they could have just waited for the guy to leave for work, then pulled him over and made the arrest then served a warrant at the house later. Instead, let’s just kick the door down and try to be badasses. What a pack of douchebags.

  30. avatarStevieP65 says:

    “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,”

    Except for, ya know, that whole CRIB thing.

  31. avatarAnonymous says:

    “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…

    So… your guys blow up a baby with a grenade during a no knock raid and this is the drug seller’s fault?? So if my mechanic didn’t tighten my lug nuts on my car tight enough and I am driving drunk, 85mph in a 25mph zone and my tire flies off my car and I hit a kid with my car and splash the kid everywhere – is it the mechanic’s fault?

    … – 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.

    My guess is that methamphetamine funded the baby crib the baby was sleeping in. Probably the baby pillow too. Likely the baby’s clothing and food as well. Are these ideal living conditions for a baby? Most certainly not – but babies getting grenades thrown at them are not ideal conditions either.

    Mr. “I don’t want to take any responsibility or be held accountable” Terrell should man up and accept what they did. Everyone would have a lot more respect for them.

  32. avatarNotguiltfree says:

    “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,”

    Yeah, like Waco they’d have burned them out and then have another bullsh*t excuse….

  33. avatarJonathan - Houston says:

    Maybe the cops should change tactics and start staging Drug Buyback Events, instead. Sure, it would still be the same useless political theater, but at least our dogs and babies might make it through the night alive.

    • avatarbontai Joe says:

      HOLY CRAP! I think you just had the idea of the century right there.

    • avatarWilliam Burke says:

      DAMN STRAIGHT! Then the cops would have even more drugs to deal on the street! Or plant on people they pinch on the street….

  34. avatarRockOnHellChild says:

    At least it wasn’t Holloween and kid was dress up like a puppy.

    The kids could’ve been shot.

  35. avatarScythian Arrows says:

    Is this why “only the police should carry guns”?

  36. Why the heck didn’t the undercover officer arrest the guy immediately after he sold him the meth? They could have executed a normal warrant on the house if they wanted to seize things for evidence.

    • avatarDarren says:

      Someone else pointed this out, its because they would not get to use all the cool swat gear in a raid

    • avatarjh says:

      That would require using your brain we can’t have that nonsense going on. How am i supposed to justify no knock raids if i am thinking with my brain.

  37. avatarMike P says:

    Throwing around the words domestic terrorist so easily scares me. Sure, selling drugs is bad, but to me it should take more to be labeled in that category.

    • avatarMaineuh says:

      Pretty sure everyone who frequents this blog is considered a domestic terrorist, as well.

      • avatarArdent says:

        You unfortunately might be right. I often joke that I’m on so many watch lists that there is no need to avoid another or that a person might as well relax since communicating with me surely has them on a list.

        What’s awful and unconscionable is that the exercise of free speech or even just having email and a cell phone put one on a list to be monitored. I’d frankly rather 50 911′s than to have our emails and calls monitored by the NSA. I might have a different opinion if I trusted government, but to trust this government is to be insane.

      • avatarWilliam Burke says:

        Yep. President Drone Killah (“I’m really good at killing people”) will be all too delighted to drone yo’ ass.

    • avatarNighthawk says:

      That’s the realpolitik of the “war on drugs” and the “war on terror”. Get groups of political opponents labelled as terrorists as use it to complete strip their rights away. Don’t look for criminals, make them, it’s easier, especially if said made criminals respected the law until you changed it on them.

  38. avatarlolinski says:

    For once, it was actually for the children. The flash bang that is.

    I am not a lover of police but I know their purpose (flashbanging toddlers is obviously not it, duh). Just got to wonder how those who love police and always defend them are going to justify this one?

    • avatarJR says:

      Look in the comments of the source article…there are those justifying it there.

      “How else are the cops supposed to do their job and rid the world of evil drug dealers” and “well, if the baby had not been at a drug dealer’s house, it would not have gotten hurt” are repeated themes.

      They, of course, are missing that the drug dealer was not even THERE at the time…he was arrested at a DIFFERENT house. So, of course it was the baby’s fault he got his face burned in a raid at 3 am with VERY sketchy intel. That makes perfect sense.

      • avatarLolinski says:

        “Evil drug dealers”, seriously? It is called capitalism, guy might do something you don’t like but he is an entrepenour, dammit!
        Ain’t forcing you to buy it or anything.

        Also I find it ironic they called the drug dealer a terrorist and not the guys who chemically burned a toddler. Another ironic thing is that they say he didn’t care about his family. Maybe he was selling dope to support his family (heard and witnessed that one)?

        Things like this make me rediscover emotions, and not the good kind.

        Was this a rant? Kinda felt like one.

      • avatarWilliam Burke says:

        They make me sick to my stomach. Where is Paul McCain to put this all into his patented “perspective”?

  39. avatarIndependent George says:

    How much would it cost to buy a few FLIR camera to scout the interior of a building before breaking down the door and tossing grenades?

    • avatarDonS says:

      As long as they already have a search warrant, of course. (Kyllo v. United States, 533 U.S. 27).

      • avatarIndependent George says:

        Would there ever be a case where they had an arrest warrant, but not a search warrant? I’m talking specifically about using it in situations where they are currently using SWAT teams to charge into a room blind.

        It seems illogical to me that it’s ok to break down a door and toss in a couple grenades, but not to scan the room before breaking the door. Not that the law is always logical, of course – I mean, hell, it also seems logical to double-check your info and make sure the defendant is actually on the premises before jumping in.

  40. avatarOldman says:

    Poster child for police stupidity…..The tweeker deserves what ever happens to him but the children are already suffering. That poor baby is lucky to be alive….. . I agree with some of the previous posts. Better pre-planning and the cars seats in the van and crib should of been a dead give away. The entry team should put that picture up in there planning room as a reminder of what poor planning can cause. At least the child is still alive.

  41. avatarMinime says:

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

    What a load of crap. This is freaking appalling.

    • avatarjh says:

      I really think this chief is tone deaf or just plain stupid . Hopefully he goes down in flames for lying for his buddies . We need to get rid of immunity of any kind for the police then maybe we can get the police departments we deserve instead of a bunch of jackboot thugs lying for each other when they screw up.

  42. avatarIng says:

    Criminals were pursued; minor mistakes were made; protocol was followed.

    No reason for alarm; no white children of affluent families were harmed here. Don’t look at this baby. You don’t need to see this baby. You can’t even pronounce its name.

    Something about domestic terrorism; you don’t want the terrorists to win, do you?

    • avatarDaveL says:

      This picture needs to be the corollary to Don N.’s anti-anti-gun agitprop poster.

      Your freedom threatens my control, so I will take it from you.

      Look at this baby.

      NOOO! Not THAT Baby! Did I mention terrorism? Well, terrorism. So move along, nothing to see here.

      • avatarJus Bill says:

        That picture needs to be in the comments to every one of Shannon’s screeds; tweeted after every one of her tweets, and attached to every reply to every anti-gun article posted in the MSM. Their actions were akin to those of the Bosnian ethnic cleansing goon squads.

  43. avatarJosh says:

    These no-knock “raids” are just going to get worse and worse. Few if any in a position to make changes have the political will to challenge them. Like RF said, it makes so much more sense to conduct surveillance and grab a suspected criminal when he is outside of his home. It reduces the risk of violence for either party, but it would require actual detective work, and the SWAT team wouldn’t get to play with all of the toys (like flashbangs, battering rams, armored vehicles) that we buy for them. I don’t have much hope for this getting better, but who knows.

  44. avatarIdahoPete says:

    “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,”

    Right. Like they checked very carefully for indications of a child before they tossed the grenade through the window. Good thing it was only a suspected meth bust – if it had been a “right-wing tea party NRA militia extremist” they would have used a tank with a flamethrower, and burned the whole family alive.

    But I am sure there will be an investigation, and the officers involved will receive a sharply worded note in their personnel file!

    • avatarjh says:

      The investigation will make them out to be hero’s . It will find a whole bunch of nothing question the babies character and tell us to be happy they didi shoot any dogs. Don’t forget this is the Police and The South a deadly combo .

  45. avatarAnon says:

    Well, like I said before the police will (try to) kill you.

    They are no longer police, they are Nazis.

    Time for a new police chief. They don’t look around for stuff before they throw the grenade, they look after.

    So I guess it was too hard to wait til the perp was outside where they could see him/her and arrest him/her/them.

    Give any cop a weapon and sooner or later they use them.

    These home invasions by the police will continue, more will be injured and die.

  46. avatarTT says:

    Habersham County, Georgia has 43,520 people in it. It’s in north Georgia and mostly rural. The fact that the sheriff’s department even has flash bangs in the first place speaks volumes about how far off track we are and how unaware so many people are.

  47. avatarPW in KY says:

    Has anyone checked to see if the officer is OK?

  48. avatarknightofbob says:

    Ok, so they knew their suspect dealt meth, which should have raised the suspicion he may have been manufacturing meth, which means the entire house could have been a massive explosion waiting to happen, yet “raid protocol” involves tossing around incendiary devices haphazardly?

    • avatarDaveL says:

      The same thing had occurred to me.

    • avatarArdent says:

      I was thinking this as well, whose raid protocol for a meth house includes a flashbang? Then again, if the charge had been illegal manufacture of fireworks they’d probably have used a flashbang because they are obviously idiots.

  49. avatarborg says:

    I am glad that they did not perform a drone strike.

  50. avatarJus Bill says:

    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…

    BULLSHIT!

  51. avatarPeterK says:

    Aw, and it’s a laotian kid, too. :( (Served my mission among Lao people in CA).

    Where’s the public outcry for the children now?

    • avatarJus Bill says:

      Quick, call Rev. Al. No? OK, call Rev. Jesse? No? OK, call Eric the Hun, Slayer of Drug Lords and Racists. No? OK, never mind…

  52. avatarJay says:

    During “no knock” raids, police get hurt and/or civilians get hurt. While there is a fair argument to be had for “if you are around bad people, bad things will happen to you” the greater truth is these raids are bad news for everyone concerned and should be the very last option.

    • avatarJR says:

      You don’t even have to be around ‘bad things’ and all that.

      Study this: http://www.cato.org/raidmap

      I remember reading in the 90′s about a freaking rash of no-knock raids being done on the wrong address….as in, raiding the wrong house.

      Innocent people are being raided and attacked in their homes.

      I had some cops visit my home one time looking for a drug dealer. They had the wrong house. They knocked. I answered. We sorted it out in about 30 seconds of civil, professional conversation. No fuss, no muss.

      Being a d#ck does not work better than acting with honor. No knock raids are the epitome of d#ck behavior done under color of law.

  53. avatarborg says:

    Police have been known to shoot suicidal people to prevent them from shooting themselves.

  54. avatarArdent says:

    I’m learning about force from a 23 week old puppy. If I move him, bump him or discipline him he growls at me. The one time he actually bit me I wore him out and we’ve not had that reaction since. Still, his reaction is to threaten me, emptily.

    There is a lesson in this. To teach him that actually attacking me was bad is a good thing. That he persists in threats is something else altogether. His impotent threats are both not an issue for me and are ineffectual.

    I think that we might end up there with government, where our bark is worse than our bite.

    The Bundy-BLM thing showed we still have teeth, and the restraint no to use them.

    I think now of my older dog, a Yorkie. He and I have been through it. He only offers me the threat of violence when I’m correcting the puppy. I believe he is trying to protect the little one, though without enough information. Other than when he believes I’m being unjust, he accepts my rule completely.

    The parallel is that we accept government rule as absolute until we see that it isn’t just, then , eventually, (and hopefully) we put our teeth into it.

    Of course my dog isn’t the best arbiter of justice, but we the people are. We’ve kept our teeth in check for quite a while, perhaps it’s not a bad thing if we nip those who do wrong.

  55. avataroldman says:

    One thing to add…..I couldn’t find anything from Obama, Bloomberg or the media on this…….minor mention………no mention anywhere about “mistake” or “misuse” of power injuring and endangering a tiny baby…….police make mistakes and should be held to their mistakes like any other citizen…..they may have a tough job but that is all it is….a job……they choose the profession as well as the risks that go with it.

  56. avatarTom says:

    Someone needs to go to jail for this, but hell will freeze over before that will ever happen. Its becoming apparent that if you have a badge, you are exempt from criminal negligence and laws against murder and assault. It may be time for some retaliation against police officers who go unpunished for their criminal actions. But only if every legal avenue has been exhausted. I`m not talking about civil lawsuit settlements.

  57. avatarDTAL says:

    Ah yes, “domestic terrorism,” the new blanket excuse for every oppressive, murderous overstep of a corrupt government and their jackbooted lackeys. Pretty soon now until a speeding ticket is considered domestic terrorism and speaking out against the progressive agenda is as well.

  58. avatarRalph says:

    The kid made a furtive movement and the cops were in justifiable fear for their lives. Besides, the residents didn’t have a dog, so what’s a cop to do?

  59. avatarFormer Water Walker says:

    This is on the national news. I just watched Headline News at 3;00central time. Everyone on the news team was appalled but the facebook comments were completely pro cop. The poor babies have to get home safe to the wife & kids. Maybe( I doubt it) something THIS outrageous could change these a###. For the children.

  60. avatarseans says:

    What gets me the most about using military tactics is using bad military tactics. You throw flags deep in a room, not crashes or stun grenades. You are suppose to just drop the crash or stun at the door, that way the occupants either look away from the door or have to get the full effect.

  61. avatarBurnout says:

    Seems like the people in that neighborhood are safer with drug dealers than with cops.

  62. avatarcommon sense says:

    If so wannabe SEAL did that to my family they would be leaving in a body bag and wet dry vac. That is uncalled for regardless of the situation. That cop needs to be tried for child abuse and sued for negligence.

    • avatarJus Bill says:

      Me, I’m going to keep a Molotov Cocktail next to my bed. Flash bang = crispy critters. I’ll get ventilated anyway, so why not go out in style?

      • avatarArdent says:

        Here is a thought, it shouldn’t be too difficult to develop a pressure actuated switch. Under normal conditions in a residence the air pressure should be about nominal=14.7 PSI. For safety let go with double that, or just call it at 30 psi. A membrane that will rupture above this pressure is commercially available and could be used as a switch to do. . . well almost anything at all; turn on the lights, sound an alarm. . anything. The only way the pressure is getting that high is if a powerful pyrotechnic device has been detonated in the house. What would you have switch on when this happens?

  63. avatarPaul Rain says:

    Is there a non-’misguided’ reason for a ‘Mr. Thometheva’ to be present in the States?

  64. avatarWilliam Burke says:

    This pissed me off about as much as can be possible. Laotian baby MAIMED FOR LIFE by YET ANOTHER SWAT raid gone bad!

    Must. Remain. Calm. WHEN IS ENOUGH EVER ENOUGH? MONSTERS!!!!

    • avatarPaul Rain says:

      I can guarantee that said Laotian baby would not be maimed by an American SWAT team if his father had been selling meth in Laos. Where’s the action to correct this injustice?

  65. avatarSean - VA says:

    So why couldn’t the police just arrest the drug dealer when he sold them the drugs initially? Or better yet, why couldn’t they stake out his house and arrest him when he went for the mail? Nope! Gotta call the ERT team. Make sure we justify that budget line item.

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