A grand jury has announced that the police officers from a Georgia SWAT team will not face any charges in relation to harming and disfiguring the face of the toddler named Bounkham Phonesavanh. The medical bills related to the incident are stacking up, and it’s now questioned whether or not the police department will honor their promise to help the family pay for the hospital stay and surgeries.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, a Connecticut SWAT team was sued due to the department’s usage of “excessive force” that lead to two innocent men being shot, one of whom died from his injuries.
When a Georgia police team entered a suspected drug house back in May of 2014, they tossed a flash bang grenade into a baby crib, leaving 19-month-old baby “Bou Bou” Phonesavanh severely burned all over according to the mother, Alecia.
“I heard my baby wailing and asked one of the officers to let me hold him. He screamed at me to sit down and shut up and blocked my view, so I couldn’t see my son. I could see a singed crib. And I could see a pool of blood. The officers yelled at me to calm down and told me my son was fine, that he’d just lost a tooth…. A SWAT team blew a hole in my 2-year-old son. Flashbang grenades were created for soldiers to use during battle. When they explode, the noise is so loud and the flash is so bright that anyone close by is temporarily blinded and deafened.”
The injured child was even put into a medically induced coma and suffered from surgeries related to facial burns, a detached nose, brain injuries and a collapsed lung. Fortunately, the boy survived, but the police department and the county did not even want to pay for the medical bills related to the hospital stay. At the time, the county department justified the rationale for this decision by claiming it was questionable whether or not they were legally permitted to pay those expenses.
Habersham County is currently claiming they will pay the child’s medical bills, but they have put that promise on hold pending the outcome of the lawsuit. At this point, the Phonesavanh family owes $800,000 just for the hospital stay at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. Baby Bou Bou also faces several more procedures with plastic surgeons to repair the extensive damage to his face, and it’s believed the total cost will exceed over $1 million.
The 23-person Habersham County grand jury considered the evidence for six days only to declare that the Georgia SWAT team was “hurried, sloppy, and unfortunately not in accordance with the best practices and policies,” but they fond “no evidence of criminal intent or criminal negligence on the part of any law enforcement officer involved.”
The grand jury also wrote, “Some of what contributed to this tragedy can be attributed to well-intentioned people getting in too big a hurry, and not slowing down and taking enough time to consider the possible consequences of their actions…. We have seen and heard the very real sadness, regret and anguish in the law enforcement officers who were involved in these events.”
Family spokesman Marcus Coleman insists the police raid on the family home was not simply “sloppy” police work, and instead, alleges a crime was committed.
“This family does not deserve the tragedy that they’ve experienced,” Coleman said. “This little child his injuries and his ongoing medical procedures, and there’s nobody to be held accountable.”