Three weeks back I posted about a Georgia SWAT team, making another no knock entry, that threw a flash bang grenade in a two year old’s crib. Salon has an article by the child’s mother expanding on the press report.
Briefly quoting Bounkham “Bou Bou” Phonesavanh’s simply told story on the incident:
They searched for drugs and never found any.
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. It was only hours later when they finally let us drive to the hospital that we found out Bou Bou was in the intensive burn unit and that he’d been placed into a medically induced coma.
Of course, all this is SOP with many departments. The “perp,” often an innocent housewife with children, may flush a ton of coke or meth down the commode if they do not break the door in. There are excuses, excuses, excuses.
The reality is that a perp might flush a few rocks, or a few roaches. But if the SWAT laddies breaks in on a Cory Maye, someone who invokes the Castle Doctrine against unlawful, warrantless, entry, police officers wives are likely to wind up widows.
If the man of the house does not resist, he is likely to wind up with more holes than a colander.
And if they attack the lady of the house, they are also very likely to kill or injure her children.
Back when, the officer tasked with serving a warrant would arrive at a reasonable hour for a social visit, knock on the door, and when someone answered, go through the process of serving a warrant and searching the house. No excitement, no one hurt, and no video suitable for the 6:00 AM news.
Regular Alley readers know I deplore the paramilitarization of the police. All too often these no-knock searches are no more than wild goose chases, entered into with bad information, and carried out with a bad heart.
One of those no knock fiasco’s led to a two year old in critical condition with a hole in his chest. Another led to a hard working miner being shot 71 times. The third, of the few I mentioned, wound up with the death of an officer, and a second officer seriously wounded. And all of that could have been averted had the respective departments had reasonable limits on breaking and entering without a warrant.