Federal And State Authorities to Investigate Habersham Raid

Posted by Richard Lawson | Jun 04, 2014 | 0 Comments

Federal and state authorities are now investigating the horrifically mishandled drug raid in Habersham County last week that critically injured a 19 month-old toddler from Wisconsin.

The GBI revealed Tuesday that the district attorney had asked them to investigate the narcotics officers that were involved in the incident to see if they were in violation of the law in carrying out a “no-knock” warrant to search the home in which the toddler and his family were temporarily residing.

Civil rights supporters sent a letter to US Attorney Sally Yates requesting federal authorities to look into the incident to see if the rights of the 19 month-old victim Bounkham “Bou Bou” Phonesavanh and his family were violated in the “search” that came up without any drugs being found.  No word on the actual involvement the authorities would take at this moment.

The incident is very similar to one in 2006 that left 92 year-old Kathryn Johnston dead when Atlanta police served a no-knock warrant at her home.  Three Atlanta police officers went to federal prison for that raid.  Law enforcement has said that Johnston and “Bou Bou” were innocents of the “war on drugs.”  I, along with many other concerned people are outraged at his callous comment.

District Attorney Brian Rickman told the AJC on Monday that his office would be investigating the incident that injured “Bou Bou” to see if law enforcement was criminally negligent or if they had violated the law in any way.  It seems that since then, the GBI is taking the lead in that investigation.

Rickman has intimated that criminal negligence would be difficult to prove and would ask questions such as whether or not the sheriff's office knew children were in the home or not, or if there was actual criminal intent to injure the child or children.  Rickman seems to not understand that someone can be charged with negligently causing injury to someone else.  He is not to be trusted and had previously seems to judge the matter before public outrage has caused him to now call for an investigation.  He is a coward.

Governor Deal said Monday that he felt Rickman's office would do a complete investigation into the incident.  The D.A. needs to take the Governor's comment as a strong suggestion to actually care about the case.

The child, “Bou Bou” was severely injured when a flash-bang grenade was thrown into his crib during a 3AM raid.  His parents and three siblings were also in the room, but were unharmed.

Police said that an undercover officer had purchased drugs from someone at the home the day before, but police found neither drugs nor weapons in the raid.  The person they were looking for, Wanis Thonetheva, wasn't in the home at the time of the raid.  He was later arrested but was not charged with selling drugs, only with drug possession.

The family of “Bou Bou” and their attorneys believe that law enforcement officers were criminally negligent and they knew or should have known four children were in the home.

The Phonesavanhs were staying in the home because their house in Wisconsin burned back in April.  Due to the “bad environment,” they were planning to leave last Thursday and had even rented a U-Haul.

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Richard Lawson

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