OUTRAGE: After Disfiguring Toddler in Botched Drug Raid, Cops Face No Charges
In May, a SWAT team of police officers in Habersham County, Georgia raided the home of the Phonesvanh family. The raid was a “no-knock” operation, meaning that the police entered the house unannounced. During the course of the raid, police threw a stun grenade into a baby's crib, badly burning toddler Bounkaham Phonesvanh who was hospitalized in a coma. No one living in the house had any drugs.
Young Bounkham Phonesvanh eventually came out of the coma, but was left with a disfiguration. He is also in need of intensive ongoing medical care, including ongoing facial and chest skin grafts, which could amount to nearly a million dollars. The county has refused to pay for it.
The boy's family hoped that at least the court system would deliver some justice. But on Monday, a grand jury in Habersham County decided to bring no charges against any of the officers involved. The attorney for the family told the press they were “devastated” by the decision.
Since the raid took place, a diverse coalition of activists has sought to reform the use of “no-knock” raids in Georgia, bringing together both tea partiers and progressive lawmakers, similar to the coalition formed after the Ferguson protests.