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Georgia family awarded $3.6M after SWAT team throws grenade at baby

Photo credit: Sky News

Photo credit: Sky News

The parents of a baby injured during a botched drug raid was awarded $3.6 million in settlement payments on Feb. 19 by a federal judge.

The incident occurred in May of 2014 in the small North Georgia town of Cornelia. The Phonesavanh family’s Wisconsin home had burned down, so the mother, father and their four children moved in with a relative and lived in one room. At 2 a.m., the family was asleep when a SWAT team burst through the door and threw a flash-bang stun grenade, which landed and exploded in the crib of 19-month-old Bounkham “Bou Bou” Phonesavanh.

According to the mother, Alecia Phonesavanh, officers immediately picked up Bou Bou and took him to receive medical attention. She was initially told that he only suffered from a lost tooth, but later, a social worker informed her that her son was being treated for burns. The baby was in critical condition with burns on his face and chest.

The SWAT team was reportedly searching for a meth dealer when they raided the wrong house. The suspect had sold drugs near the Phonesavanh family’s residence, but he lived across town, reported ABC’s “20/20” in a 2014 segment on the incident.

Bou Bou survived and now lives a normal, happy life. Although his family is stuck with around $1 million in medical bills and no one will be charged in the tragedy, the Phonesavanhs can now receive some justice in the form of the $3.6 million settlement.

“We have worked diligently with our co-counsel to obtain the best possible result for Baby Bou Bou and his family,” said Attorney Mawuli Mel Davis of Davis Bozeman Law Firm, according to a press release. “What we achieved will not fix what happened or take away the nightmares, but we hope it helps them move forward as a family.”

Marcus Coleman, a local community activist and president of Save OurSelves Organization, has been heavily invested in the Phonesavanh case. He says that although a settlement has been reached, it is “still … a travesty” that the family is responsible for their son’s medical bills. The Phonesavanhs say that the bills have left them financially crippled.



8 Comments

  1. Justin_Auldphart on March 1, 2016 at 7:32 am

    I’ll always wonder if the big bad SWATties ever got the guy they were after…and even if they did, was it worth the time and money???

  2. PERS ponzi 1st repsonders on March 1, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    ….. unaccountable public unions

    ..
    T E L E S T A F F – R A C K E T E E R I N G is fraud

    all across America,
    this fraud is costing taxpayers $100’s of billions of dollars in new tax increases .

    learn as much as you can
    about the theft of taxpayer money by unaccountable public unions.
    …….

    • Kak on March 1, 2016 at 4:47 pm

      You are the reason America is going right down the toilet.
      You know nothing about police state tactics…Patrioct 1,II, NDAA (habeus corpus gone)
      You know nothing about the SWATIFICATION of America…
      You know nothing about the Private FEDERAL RESERVE corrupting your economy…
      You know nothing about your own country and the source of all of its problems.
      In short, you know nothing.
      America = A nation of know nothing high school students.

      • Zaphod Braden on March 1, 2016 at 5:46 pm

        Did you READ what he wrote? CAN you read?

  3. bosunj on March 1, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    I hope they take that settlement and go back to Cambodia with it so they can live like human beings. That kind of money will still be feeding and housing the kids grandchildren there.

  4. Zaphod Braden on March 1, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    And the cops will be serving HOW many years?

  5. Tashee on March 2, 2016 at 3:13 am

    OH my goodness…Poor little guy!!!! There are some things money just cannot fix. First of all $3.6 million is NOTHING considering the harm they did to such a truly innocent baby. He will suffer for life because of this.

  6. ClintJCL on March 3, 2016 at 8:33 am

    Why are you not mentioning the part where the police refused to pay the bills, and said it was the child’s own fault? Biased reporting sucks. I’m hiding all articles from here from my facebook feed.