Monday, August 25, 2014

Georgia County Refuses to Pay Medical Costs for Toddler Injured by SWAT Flash Grenade


In an outrageous example of adding insult to injury,  officials of Georgia's Habersham County have refused to pay the medical costs for a toddler maimed during a no-knock police raid. 19 month old Bounkham Phonesavah was severely injured and suffered life-threatening burns when a police goon squad chucked a military style flash grenade into his crib during a no-knock raid back in May. The story drew national attention and is another reason why the militarized police in this country need to be disarmed and have a serious legal choke chain applied to them.

These type of tactics may work fine for the Special Ops or JSOC types conducting midnight raids in Afghanistan but this is still at least theoretically a free country. Yet such violent (you could even call them "terrorist") attacks on civilians are all too commonplace in The Homeland which is being transformed into a war zone environment by cops run amok. John Whitehead of the non-profit civil rights organization The Rutherford Institute recently wrote that there are now over 80,000 SWAT storm-trooper raids a year in the American police state.

To recap the police maiming of “Baby Boo Boo” who had to spend weeks undergoing costly treatment including surgery and a stay in the burn ward of an Atlanta hospital I excerpt the following from a story entitled “Child burned by distraction device during raid” from local website AccessNorthGa.com on the story in the immediate aftermath of the incident:

Habersham County Sheriff Joey Terrell now is talking about the high-risk warrant service that resulted in burns to a 2-year-old child early Wednesday.

The child was burned when narcotics agents, assisted by members of the Habersham Special Response Team, used a distraction device as they entered a home at 182 Lakeview Heights Circle outside Cornelia.

"We had prior information on it," Terrell said of the circumstances of the home and its occupants. "The individual had been involved in an altercation with another male involving a possible AK-47 [rifle] several months ago, and he was arrested on some weapons charges. Supposedly that was about drugs."

AND

Terrell said the training teaches officers to only throw the device three to five feet inside the door, to protect the occupants.

"He taught our team members how to do it," Terrell said. "They breached the door and one member tossed the device in, then we entered the room."

During the entry is when the child was burned.

"What had happened was there was a playpen - a Pack N Play - that was pushed up against the door, and when they breached the door it wouldn't open up because of the Pack N Play," Terrell said. "It was just wide enough to toss the flash bang in, then they had to physically push it [Pack N Play] on out of the way to get in. That's when the team medics saw the child, stopped at the child, took the child out and began first aid."

A waiting ambulance, which was standing by a short distance away, was called to transport the child.

"The door that we entered was the door that we bought dope out of - that's why entered at that door," Terrell said. "Our team went by the book. Given the same scenario, we'll do the same thing again. I stand behind what our team did."

The cops of course denied both their flagrant disregard for the child as well boasted of  their arrogant impunity. This is evident by the comments from Habersham County’s Sheriff that:  "Our team went by the book. Given the same scenario, we'll do the same thing again. I stand behind what our team did". A real stand-up guy, let’s hope that the voters in Habersham County remember this fascist when he is up for re-election. While the incompetence of Terrell's amped-up and ready to rock armed thugs is obvious there will be absolutely no accountability. When in doubt refer to the doctrine of "If you're not a copy, you're little people" from the movie Blade Runner, because the entire system is configured to protect Leviathan's storm troopers.

Iconic libertarian and former longtime U.S. Congressman Ron Paul weighed in on the unspeakable use of the grenade against the toddler in his column "Ferguson: The War Comes Home":

One particularly tragic victim of police militarization and the war on drugs is “baby Bounkham.” This infant was severely burned and put in a coma by a flash-burn grenade thrown into his crib by a SWAT team member who burst into the infant’s room looking for methamphetamine.

As shocking as the case of baby Bounkham is, no one should be surprised that empowering police to stop consensual (though perhaps harmful and immoral) activities has led to a growth of authoritarian attitudes and behaviors among government officials and politicians. Those wondering why the local police increasingly look and act like an occupying military force should consider that the drug war was the justification for the Defense Department’s “1033 program,” which last year gave local police departments almost $450 million worth of “surplus” military equipment. This included armored vehicles and grenades like those that were used to maim baby Bounkham.

Today, the war on drugs has been eclipsed by the war on terror as an all-purpose excuse for expanding the police state. We are all familiar with how the federal government increased police power after September 11 via the PATRIOT Act, TSA, and other Homeland Security programs. Not as widely known is how the war on terror has been used to justify the increased militarization of local police departments to the detriment of our liberty. Since 2002, the Department of Homeland Security has provided over $35 billion in grants to local governments for the purchase of tactical gear, military-style armor, and mine-resistant vehicles.

Once again Ron Paul is right. In particular in that the phony war on terror provided cynical American politicians and the security industrial complex that arose like a phoenix from the ashes of the World Trade Center to be borne upon the wings of obscene profits and has become a cancer eating this once great country from within. It is no wonder why so many jackass  politicians and Obama officials are fear-mongering over the spooky Islamist group ISIS.  One is even shrieking about the nuking of an American city for God's sake. There is really nothing that they would like more than to capture that potent and lucrative 9/11 lightning in a bottle again to fund and preserve their surveillance machine and the police state that it supports. It keeps them all elected and in a position where they can continue to enable the war on America being waged on us all by their ongoing permanent state of emergency.

As long as this anti-American, anti-Constitutional horseshit is allowed to continue there will be more innocents who are the victims of police raids. It is a pretty safe bet that the weasels in Habersham County, Georgia are not going to have to cough up one red cent over their criminal negligence. The only real regret that I suspect that they haqve is that  "Baby Boo Boo" wasn't killed during the raid.