Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Saturday, May 31, 2014

A 19-month-old boy was critically injured when Georgia police threw a police flash bang device into his playpen during a drug raid before dawn Wednesday. Habersham County cops raided the house on suspicion that Wanis Thometheva had sold methamphetamine from the residence. They tossed in the device to distract occupants, not knowing that Bounkham Phonesavanhs, his parents and three older sisters were all asleep in the room. "It blew open his face and his chest," said the boy's mother, Alecia Phonesavan. Authorities did not make any arrests, nor did they find anything at the house during the raid.

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snoofy

 

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Admin's note: Participants in this discussion must follow the site's moderation policy. Profanity will be filtered. Abusive conduct is not allowed.

"Assault-type weapons."

Need I say more?

#1 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-05-31 02:24 AM | Reply | Flag:

The militarization of US police forces guarantees more tragedies for the innocent. It should matter, since its our own citizens being abused, yet many citizens take the attitude, since it didn't effect me I don't care. One day it might.

#2 | Posted by nutcase at 2014-05-31 08:56 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 4

"The Phonesavanh family is without insurance and have set up a fund to pay for medical expenses. According to Terrell, the sheriff's department has already contacted the hospital social worker to request that all hospital bills be forwarded to the county."

Nice of the Sheriff to volunteer the taxpayers' money to pay for the crime committed by his deputies but I think the money should come out of the Sheriff's office budget. If that means laying of deputies, selling Swat Team vehicles, whatever, so be it.

#3 | Posted by danni at 2014-05-31 09:00 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 2

Meth is one of the 'bad drugs'. Even so, I don't see a lot of support for these SWAT raids so who is empowering the police?

#4 | Posted by visitor_ at 2014-05-31 09:19 AM | Reply | Flag:

It's just collateral damage. Police have a license to execute. They use it liberally.

Ain't no real consequences when you are a low iq police officer with an adrenaline fueled bloodlust.

#5 | Posted by klifferd at 2014-05-31 10:28 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 2

The thing that bothers me is that they went in blind. They had no clue who was in the home and the target of the warrant wasn't even home.

#6 | Posted by Lohocla at 2014-05-31 10:40 AM | Reply | Flag:

I think the money should come out of the Sheriff's office budget.
#2 | Posted by danni

It should come out of the Sheriff's salary. After he gets out of jail.

This kind of thing is common in the drug war. Civilized countries treat drug use as a health problem. For us it's a profit center for the law enforcement industry.

#7 | Posted by SomebodyElse at 2014-05-31 10:55 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 3

We hear a lot about Disaster (Relief) Fatigue, and that it's getting worse. We are probably in the process of developing Police Misconduct (Elimination) Fatigue as well, with the many incidents that we see. Charities exist to address the former, but the latter has to be addressed in individual cities or counties, and complacency overcome in each location. We are unlikely to see a federal admission (and thus an initiative to correct) that there is widespread law enforcement misconduct, which is commonly criminal in nature.

#8 | Posted by kenx at 2014-05-31 11:39 AM | Reply | Flag:

"The thing that bothers me is that they went in blind. They had no clue who was in the home and the target of the warrant wasn't even home."

That right there is the truly bizarre part of this story.

#9 | Posted by Tor at 2014-05-31 12:51 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

They're cops...in Georgia.

Standard operational procedure.

.

#10 | Posted by Dave at 2014-05-31 01:21 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

They're cops...in Georgia.

Standard operational procedure.

posted by dave

Odd. I don't recall ever hearing about this tactic being used before in Georgia, much less it being SOP.

Can you provide citation to back up that claim, dave?

Thanks!

#11 | Posted by goatman at 2014-05-31 01:42 PM | Reply | Flag:

The only time cops or swat should make these raids is when the perps and the address are known to represent a danger to the public at large. Incorrect address are often involved and that gets innocent people killed too.

The same philosophy should go for high speed pursuits. They should never occur and endanger the innocent public unless the alleged perp is a known danger. Otherwise they need to coordinate via their radios and strips. Traffic violations are not worth getting innocent people killed.

#13 | Posted by Robson at 2014-05-31 02:01 PM | Reply | Flag:

The only time cops or swat should make these raids is when the perps and the address are known to represent a danger to the public at large.

I agree. Also surveillance should be done to determine if there is a possibility that kids will be in the house.

#15 | Posted by goatman at 2014-05-31 02:07 PM | Reply | Flag:

Per policy, it's just an issue of "mistakes were made." Which is why the policy of no-knock raids itself is the problem. Police can't simply monitor and capture a perp walking out to take out the trash - no, they need guns drawn, armored personnel carriers, and grenades. All too often over vegetation. But - that's war. War doesn't have "innocent victims." It has "collateral damage." Which is why language, attitude, and policy all need to change in our war on (some) drugs. When you declare war on drug users, you declare war on your brothers, sisters, friends, and neighbors. Enough is enough.

#16 | Posted by zeropointnrg at 2014-05-31 02:14 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 2

#13 | POSTED BY GOATMAN AT 2014-05-31 02:06 PM | FLAG: lmao

#17 | Posted by zeropointnrg at 2014-05-31 02:16 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Police can't simply monitor and capture a perp walking out to take out the trash - no, they need guns drawn, armored personnel carriers, and grenades.

Exactly. Basically a civilian version of a military blockade. But of course it has to be done very discretely or the kids become a hostage when bad guy says he's not going to feed them.

#19 | Posted by goatman at 2014-05-31 02:27 PM | Reply | Flag:

#2 | Posted by danni
"I think the money should come out of the Sheriff's office budget. If that means laying of deputies, selling Swat Team vehicles, whatever, so be it."

Punishing by removing funds is nothing more than making it MORE difficult for them to do their job.
Besides, if you take it from the Sheriff's Office budget, the county will just have to increase the budget for the next fiscal year, and that extra money will come...from the taxpayers.

"laying of deputies"...the deputies are excited about this.

Oh, you meant laying OFF of deputies. But now the department is stretched thin, with fewer eyes and ears.
Habersham County had, according to the last census, a population of under 45k. How much funding do you think the Sheriff's Office has to begin with?

I agree that action needs to be taken. Obviously. But without knowing procedural specifics, or the chain of command involved, or other information that didn't make it to the final draft of the article, it's a bit early to go jumping from incident to punishment.

#20 | Posted by TheTom at 2014-05-31 02:29 PM | Reply | Flag:

The sheriff claims there were no indication of children whatsoever. Those "distraught" officers THREW A GRANADE INTO A BABY'S PLAYPEN. This sheriff is lying - they not only saw and used the playpen in their assault but also undoubtedly heard the screaming little girls.

There is no justification for how this department behaves. None.

I want justice. Swift and deliberate.

CPS should instantly take away children from those violent police maniacs.

#21 | Posted by redlightrobot at 2014-05-31 02:31 PM | Reply | Flag:

Here's my problem with regards to procedure, according to Sheriff Terrell:
"It's going to make us double, triple, and quadruple check to know that there aren't innocent parties in the house".

This implies that they weren't 100% sure to begin with.
How is their threshold of certainty not massively higher?
Why would they necessarily assume the informant is completely reliable?
Or reliably complete?
They need to KNOW that there's NOT a child, rather than know that there IS one.

#22 | Posted by TheTom at 2014-05-31 02:35 PM | Reply | Flag:

#19 | Posted by redlightrobot
"This sheriff is lying - they not only saw and used the playpen in their assault but also undoubtedly heard the screaming little girls."

You've given a version of the story here, but one that simply supports a foregone conclusion, and a foregone desire to see a version of justice done.
You're also stating as fact a number of things you could not possibly know.

If you want justice to be swift and deliberate, isn't it just as important that justice be responsible and precise?
Wouldn't you want to be absolutely sure, in the same way that you'd want the Special Response Team to be absolutely sure?

#23 | Posted by TheTom at 2014-05-31 02:45 PM | Reply | Flag:

Habersham County had, according to the last census, a population of under 45k. How much funding do you think the Sheriff's Office has to begin with?

#18 | POSTED BY THETOM AT 2014-05-31 02:29 PM | FLAG:

Over $2,500,000+ per year to operate. $300,000+ for drug enforcement. Plus DHS handouts. Somewhere between 25 to 50 officers.

A better question might be why such a small office has a special operations team with enough free time to chase minor drug offenses.

#24 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2014-05-31 03:00 PM | Reply | Flag:

From this account story: www.nbcnews.com
One phrase from the police really stands out:

But in a statement to WDUN radio news of Gainesville, Terrell said that based on "information regarding assault-type weapons at the residence" and a "criminal history which reflected charges of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and several charges of carrying a concealed weapon," sheriff's deputies and Cornelia police officers obtained a "no-knock" warrant allowing them to enter the house without warning.

#25 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-05-31 03:11 PM | Reply | Flag:

Going into a house at dawn and throwing a flash bang into a room seems like a great strategy for hurting innocents. Do the police really think the only people at a home where drugs are being sold are drug dealers? Experience should have taught them otherwise.

#26 | Posted by rcade at 2014-05-31 03:15 PM | Reply | Flag:

#22 | Posted by sitzkrieg

Ha! The question was rhetorical, but good on you for doing the homework.
The point was that lessening their funding is not an appropriate response.

"A better question might be why such a small office has a special operations team with enough free time to chase minor drug offenses."

It is a good question. My follow-up would be, is the SRT a full-time unit, or is it assembled as needed?

#27 | Posted by TheTom at 2014-05-31 03:16 PM | Reply | Flag:

#19 | Posted by redlightrobot
"This sheriff is lying - they not only saw and used the playpen in their assault but also undoubtedly heard the screaming little girls."
You've given a version of the story here, but one that simply supports a foregone conclusion, and a foregone desire to see a version of justice done.
You're also stating as fact a number of things you could not possibly know.
If you want justice to be swift and deliberate, isn't it just as important that justice be responsible and precise?
Wouldn't you want to be absolutely sure, in the same way that you'd want the Special Response Team to be absolutely sure?
#23 | Posted by TheTom at 2014-05-31 02:45 PM

The additional vehicle had childrens crap all about it.

The police did not verify what occupants might be present?

No, they must presume the vehicle indicates children, just as the playpen indicates a baby, etc. There is NO OTHER INTERPRETATION.

My team is never wrong. We can't be.::][

#28 | Posted by redlightrobot at 2014-05-31 03:27 PM | Reply | Flag:

TheTom - the reason for the police presence was to capture a specific person - they were tailing? It seems more like they often take the "strike drone" approach and just explode an entire family instead. Well, two families in this instance. What was the crime? Selling meth? And that person wasn't even present? This SWAT-action isn't just cartoonishly bad, but embarrassingly procedural. Get me?

#29 | Posted by redlightrobot at 2014-05-31 03:33 PM | Reply | Flag:

But of course it has to be done very discretely

Because if there's one word to characterize the actions of a flash-bang grenade, it's "discreet."

#30 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-05-31 03:44 PM | Reply | Flag:

The problem is that the police are manufacturing the justification of use of force by their use of force.

bearingarms.com

#31 | Posted by techres at 2014-05-31 04:18 PM | Reply | Flag:

People are absolutely correct to worry about people carrying guns: the cops, the army, the cia, fbi, etc, kill far more than idiots like these people.

The function of the propaganda isn't to end gun ownership. It is to end gun ownership of those that power doesn't like, and expand gun ownership for those that do its bidding.

Hitler disarmed the masses. He didn't disarm his thugs. That is the point.

#32 | Posted by Shawn at 2014-05-31 06:26 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

People are absolutely correct to worry about people carrying guns: the cops, the army, the cia, fbi, etc, kill far more than idiots like these people.
The function of the propaganda isn't to end gun ownership. It is to end gun ownership of those that power doesn't like, and expand gun ownership for those that do its bidding.
Hitler disarmed the masses. He didn't disarm his thugs. That is the point.
#32 | Posted by Shawn at 2014-05-31 06:26 PM

Absolutely true. I rarely hear of hunters going crazy, it's these medicated children that are not recognized as dangerous. We need a REAL discussion about anti-psychotic medications use and the medical community is absolutely central to it.

I trust police as much as I trust any medical practitioner who prescribes behavioral-modification drugs to children. They are so sure of what they do they refuse any possibility of wrongdoing.

#33 | Posted by redlightrobot at 2014-05-31 06:39 PM | Reply | Flag:

For us it's a profit center for the law enforcement industry.

#7 | Posted by SomebodyElse

And the drug lords.

#34 | Posted by Sniper at 2014-05-31 09:13 PM | Reply | Flag:

Someone needs to pay and it should not be taxpayers or the victims.

#35 | Posted by Robson at 2014-05-31 10:28 PM | Reply | Flag:

Someone needs to pay and it should not be taxpayers or the victims.

That leaves the guilty cop who probably barely gets by on $40k/yr. IOW, the hurt child will not get the hospitalization and possible future plastic surgery he needs.

Perhaps you should rethink that. It's not the child's fault the cop won't be able to pay

#36 | Posted by goatman at 2014-05-31 10:33 PM | Reply | Flag:

The savings of disbanding the SWAT team would almost certainly more than pay for it. Heck, legalizing and taxing methamphetamine would probably cover it too.

Routine police behavior of this sort -- the thousands of no-knock raids, and the dozens of violent, often deadly "accidents" -- is not compatible with living in a free country.

This is one area in which I agree with the Cato Institute.

#37 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-05-31 10:45 PM | Reply | Flag:

The person who will be paying for this, is the 19-month old boy. If he survives, he will pay for it every day of his life.

Obviously, the state has determined that this is an acceptable price to pay. They prove it by using these approaches to stupid problems like "might have dealt meth". Which doesn't sound like a life-or death situation until you realize that the cops are going to kill anyone in their attempt to fabricate a crime.

The fact that they didn't find any evidence of the crime is enough to convince me they were wrong about this guy being a dealer.

#38 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2014-05-31 11:01 PM | Reply | Flag:

This is one area in which I agree with the Cato Institute.

--------

Can you imagine the king of England telling its people that if you eat pizza you will be thrown in jail? That is how ridiculous drug laws are. Now there is an issue with driving while under the influence, and I agree that existing laws are there for good reason, but only a slave people would put up with this kind of #$^&.

#39 | Posted by Shawn at 2014-06-01 01:01 AM | Reply | Flag:

Am I the only one who thinks this here.... If you have children DO NOT LIVE IN A House where drugs are being sold. The cops are here to rid our streets of drugs and this house had been the site of 2, yes TWO undercover buys of meth amphetamine. I am truly sorry a child was hurt in this situation, however complains of needing money due to no insurance, how about selling one of the 2 Mercedes SUV's that were parked in the driveway.

#40 | Posted by Spitfire816 at 2014-06-01 02:48 AM | Reply | Flag:

40: I was waiting for such a response. Did you notice that the (alleged) dealer was not even there, and that it wasn't his kid? Yeah, every human can simply live where he chooses.

And yeah, cops should just bust in without knowing who's present of what they might have. Gee, even on a self-protection level, they should have known who was in there. What if it wasn't a baby but a tripwire to blow up the first two cops through the door? Dumb dumb dumb.

#41 | Posted by pragmatist at 2014-06-02 08:18 AM | Reply | Flag:

Authorities did not make any arrests, nor did they find anything at the house during the raid.

Another "Oh well, what can you do?" moment from the police state.

Is anyone going to be held accountable other than the taxpayers?

#42 | Posted by 726 at 2014-06-02 08:20 AM | Reply | Flag:

Going into a house at dawn and throwing a flash bang into a room seems like a great strategy for hurting innocents. Do the police really think the only people at a home where drugs are being sold are drug dealers? Experience should have taught them otherwise.

#26 | POSTED BY RCADE AT 2014-05-31 03:15 PM | FLAG:

If the Sheriff does not use the grenades, there is no justification to ask for funding to buy new ones in next years budget.

#43 | Posted by 726 at 2014-06-02 08:24 AM | Reply | Flag:

Modern tactical equipment would have give the officers information about the baby in the room before barging in a la Steven Seagal. All persons involved in this operation should be fired immediately.

The free for all gun nut society in America has made law enforcement officers act the way they do. They have become a part of that culture. Terrifying to say the least.

#44 | Posted by CrisisStills at 2014-06-02 09:10 AM | Reply | Flag:

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