"Merely by being in that room, Bou-Bou had assumed the risk of coming under attack by a SWAT team. By impeding the trajectory of that grenade, rather than fleeing from his crib, Bou-Bou failed to “avoid the consequences” of that attack."
Habersham County Sheriff, Joey Terrell, has allegedly given the most asinine defense about why a SWAT team blew a babies face off. The defense was allegedly used in a federal lawsuit on behalf of an infant hit with a grenade by SWAT during a botched raid in May of last year.
As previously covered, Bounkham “Baby Bou Bou” Phonesavanh, 19-months-old, was asleep in his crib. At 3:00 am militarized police barged into his family’s home because an informant had purchased $50 worth of meth from someone who once lived there. During the raid, a flash-bang grenade was thrown into the sleeping baby’s crib, exploding in his face.
Beyond the disfiguring wounds on the toddler’s face, the grenade also left a gash in his chest. As a result, Bou lost the ability to breathe on his own and was left in a medically induced coma for days after the incident. Bou was not able to go home from the hospital until July.
No officers were charged for their near-deadly negligence, and the department claimed that they did not know that there were children in the home. They defended their reckless actions by saying that they couldn’t have done a thorough investigation prior to the raid because it “would have risked revealing that the officers were watching the house.”
The family filed a federal lawsuit for damages that ended last month in a settlement (paid for by taxpayers) not only totaling less than the amount of the infant's medical bills, but split up between family members. Furthermore, the conditions of the settlement included restrictions on further litigation pursued by the family in order to ensure that taxpayers, not the individuals who almost killed an infant, will be responsible for any further payout.
This is just the tip of the iceberg.
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Author William Norman Grigg poured over the defense presented in this case by the Sheriff's Office, and his findings are unbelievable. No officials in their right mind would blame an infant for getting hit with a grenade during a botched raid, right? Wrong, according to Grigg.
The act of sleeping in a room about to be breached by a SWAT team constituted “criminal” conduct on the part of the infant. At the very least, the infant was fully liable for the nearly fatal injuries inflicted on him when Habersham County Sheriff’s Deputy Charles Long blindly heaved a flash-bang grenade – a “destructive device,” as described by the ATF, that when detonated burns at 2,000-3,500 degrees Fahrenheit – into the crib.
Merely by being in that room, Bou-Bou had assumed the risk of coming under attack by a SWAT team. By impeding the trajectory of that grenade, rather than fleeing from his crib, Bou-Bou failed to “avoid the consequences” of that attack.
In any case, Bou-Bou, along with his parents and his siblings, are fully and exclusively to blame for the injuries that nearly killed the child and left the family with more than one million dollars in medical bills. The SWAT team that invaded the home in Cornelia, Georgia on the basis of a bogus anonymous tip that a $50 drug transaction had occurred there is legally blameless.
According to this researcher, the poor family had to listen to those responsible for the mutilation of their child accuse their infant of bringing it upon himself. Apparently it doesn't matter that the authorities didn't do a proper investigation, or that they blindly threw explosives into someone's home "by mistake," it was the baby's fault.
In his report, Grigg explains how Baby Bou is the chief plaintiff, and notes the claims made in the Tenth Defense (see page 35) that the injuries and damages "were caused by the deliberate, criminal conduct of plaintiffs." As the department has failed to specifically denote the parents as the plaintiffs, the defense mounted on behalf of Sheriff Joey and his minions focused squarely on the lead plaintiff, the infant who was nearly murdered in his sleep.
The Free Thought Project reached out to the department in hopes of getting in touch with Habersham County Sheriff's Office regarding this unbelievable defense. We're not holding our breath.
Below is a copy of this mind-blowingly asinine response to the original lawsuit.