Tag Archives: Bou Bou Phonesavanh

Federal Civil Rights Charges Filed in SWAT Raid That Maimed Baby | #JusticeForBouBou

July 22, 2015
Bounkham "Bou Bou" Phonesavanh
Bounkham “Bou Bou” Phonesavanh

I wrote earlier this year about the story of Baby “Bou Bou” Phonesavanh, a toddler who was disfigured and permanently injured by a stun grenade that landed in his playpen during the execution of a “no-knock” raid on the house where he and his family were staying. In the end, police had raided the wrong house, seeking a suspected drug dealer later arrested without violence at his actual place of residence. Bou Bou Phonesavanh was critically burned by the flashbang grenade and spent weeks in a medically induced coma; he continues to need surgeries and other medical care.

Earlier in the year, I wrote about the bizarre defense filed by police in response to a lawsuit brought on behalf of Baby Bou Bou, wherein police argue that the toddler was the one at fault for his disfigurement.

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Cops: Toddler Disfigured By Grenade in “No-Knock” Raid a “Criminal”, To Blame For His Injuries | #JusticeForBouBou

May 22, 2015
Bounkham "Bou Bou" Phonesavanh
Bounkham “Bou Bou” Phonesavanh. (Photo credit: Phonesavanh family)

(H/T @boygainvillea)

Last year, nineteen month-old Bounkham “Bou Bou” Phonesavanh was sleeping peacefully in his playpen in Habersham County, Georgia. The Phonesavanh family had recently moved to Georgia from Janesville, Wisconsin after their home had been destroyed in a fire, and the family — including the four young Phonesavanh children — were temporarily living in a converted guestroom of the house owned by Bounkham Phonesavanh’s sister.

At 2 am on May 28, 2014, Bou Bou and his three older siblings were asleep when a team of militarized Habersham SWAT officers — conducting a “no-knock” raid of the family home — broke down the door and blindly threw a stun grenade into the room. The grenade landed in Bou Bou’s playpen and exploded just inches from the toddler’s face. Bou Bou immediately started screaming from the injuries of the devastating explosion: the grenade detached Bou Bou’s nose, permanently disfiguring him, and create a gash in his chest that collapsed his left lung and prevented the infant from breathing on his own.

SWAT officers prevented Bou Bou’s mother, Alecia Phonesavanh, from approaching her child. Instead, they downplayed the injuries; in a later interview, Alecia Phonesavanh recollects:

“I asked if he got hurt. And they said, ‘No, your son is fine. He has not sustained any serious injury,” Alecia Phonesavanh remembers. “They ended up telling us that he had lost a tooth.”

But her husband became alarmed after seeing a pool of blood and the condition of the crib. “Burnt marks on the bottom of the crib where he sleep[s],” recalls Bounkham Phonesavanh. “And the pillow blown apart.”

Bou Bou was rushed to a hospital in Atlanta where he was placed in a medically induced coma for months. Although he survived the grenade explosion, Bou Bou underwent multiple surgeries with more scheduled. In total, medical bills have already surpassed $1 million dollars.

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