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The parents of a toddler who was severely injured when a SWAT team’s grenade exploded in his face may be on the hook for all of his medical expenses.

Georgia will not pick up the tab for the more than $500,000 worth of medical treatment Bounkham Phonesavanh received after he was injured during a botched drug raid in May.

“It leaves me heartbroken to know that they really don’t have any compassion or remorse for what they’ve done to my family,” Phonesavanh’s mom, Alecia, told The Huffington Post. “

I read all these articles about how bad they feel and how traumatized they are, but I don’t see it. I don’t see it in their words or their actions at all.”

A SWAT officer threw a flash grenade that landed in the toddler’s crib, badly burning him. The blast left holes in Phonesavanh’s face and tore away at his chest, exposing his ribs.

He was put into a medically induced coma for days and, at one point, had only a 50 percent chance of survival, his family said.

Authorities said that they previously purchased drugs from the house and that there was no evidence to indicate a child would be present.

The suspect, wanted on federal drug charges, was not there. The American Civil Liberties Union has challenged the assertion that there was no sign a child could be present, saying that there were toys in the front lawn.

Phonesavanh said there were no drugs found in the house and that it was “not a drug house.” Now, the county says it’s not legally allowed to pay the child’s medical bills.

“The question before the board was whether it is legally permitted to pay these expenses,” the county said in a statement sent to the station. “

After consideration of this question following advice of counsel, the board of commissioners has concluded that it would be in violation of the law for it to do so.

Source

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5 disturbing facts about police militarization in America

Those cops in riot armor beating and tear-gassing protesters in Ferguson didn’t drop out of thin air. As American police continue to receive billions in military-grade equipment free or subsidized by the Pentagon and Homeland Security, they’ve predictably started to act more like a military force in hostile territory than the public’s protectors.

Facts from ACLU report show just how big the problem has become Follow micdotcom

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A Habersham County grand jury has decided not to charge any of the law enforcement officers involved in the botched drug raid that disfigured a toddler.

Nineteen-month-old Bounkham “Bou Bou” Phonesavanh’s nose was detached from his face after a stun grenade landed in his playpen during the raid, carried out by a Habersham SWAT team in May. According to an incident report obtained from the Habersham sheriff’s office, deputies were told to anticipate a cache of weapons and armed guards at the home.

A search inside turned up neither guns nor drugs. Wanis Thonetheva, who didn’t even live at the house, was arrested later that day without incident and charged only with possession of methamphetamine.
Mawuli Davis, the attorney for the Phonesavanh family, said the family was “devastated” to learn no criminal charges would be brought.

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/breaking-news/no-charges-for-officers-in-botched-drug-raid-that-/nhc2N/

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Smile for the Bouncing Ball

If you make your living in a dangerous profession like the military, police or disaster response, knowing what’s around the corner can mean the difference between life and death. 

An MIT-hatched startup called Bounce Imaging has developed a new technology to put eyes on areas that are too dangerous to enter blind. The device is called Explorer. It is a softball-sized orb that holds a camera with six lenses pointed in different directions and either visible-light or near-infrared LEDs. Read more and see video of the device in action below.

Keep reading

An Albuquerque SWAT team is actually being held responsible for killing a homeless man 

On March 16, 2014, a heavily armed team of Albuquerque police officers opened fire on mentally ill homeless camper James M. Boyd after a tense standoff. The encounter was caught on video that appears to show disproportionate use of force, although the Albuquerque Police Department continued to insist the shooting was justified for months following the incident.

Now the APD’s luck appears to have run out. Prosecutors have announced that two officers who fired lethal rounds into Boyd’s body, Keith Sandy and Dominique Perez, will be charged with murder. Local TV station KRQE provided letters from the district attorney showing that the state is serious about holding the officers involved accountable.