A family is in shock after a SWAT team threw a stun grenade into their 19-month-old son’s crib during a midnight drugs raid, leaving the baby in a medically induced coma with severe burns.
Wisconsin mother Alecia Phonesavanh, her husband, Bounkham, and their children including toddler, Bou Jr., were visiting her sister-in-law in Atlanta, Georgia, when police raided the home early Wednesday.
Phonesavanh said officers threw a stun grenade, which landed in the sleeping child’s crib.
. . . .
Deputies said they bought drugs from the house and came back with a no-knock warrant to arrest a man known to have drugs and weapons, WSB reported. They arrested Wanis Thometheva, 30, during the raid.
Darby told WSBTV that the entire police unit is upset over the incident, which was an accident.
There is a horrible picture at the link which I do not care to reproduce here.
Don’t treat this like the cops intended this. They didn’t. When the story says deputies are distraught over this, I believe it. Cops don’t go into law enforcement to hurt small children.
But look: if you use stun grenades in the service of a no-knock warrant like this, tragedies like this are going to happen. The question that police (and members of the public who pay the police) have to ask themselves is this: is it worth this kind of risk to arrest people for the crime in question? If the crime is murder, you might have one answer. If the crime is selling drugs, you might have another.
And if the answer to that question (should we use this tactic knowing the risk?) is “no” . . . then don’t do it.
P.S. I might add: don’t sell drugs out of a house with children. It’s a rough and violent business and people get hurt, even when police don’t enter the picture.