Our readers know we are not big fans of no-knock raids, especially when military style tactics are used simply because one of the residents is a gun owner and the charges related to the raid are not related to violence.
But this story really drives home the point. SWAT was called in to take out a meth dealer, but as it turned out not only was the man they were looking for not in the house, but a toddler was seriously injured because of the military style tactics used.
According to NYdailynews,
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
While we do not justify the guilty party here (Wanis Thometheva), we also cannot justify tactics that too often lead to lives being taken, both on that part of law enforcement and innocent bystanders in a home.
We have reported stories previously of SWAT team members almost being shot because homeowners thought the raid was an intruder coming into their house, and people have been shot and killed because of no-knock raids and their propensity to do more harm than good.
In one case a grand jury rejected murder charges after a Texas man shot a deputy in a no-knock raid, thinking it was an intruder breaking into his home, in which case lethal force is perfectly legal.
Any thoughts on this? Leave a comment below.
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