Police Blew a Hole in My Toddler

Alecia Phonesavanh tells her story
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 24, 2014 5:14 PM CDT

(Newser) – When their house burned down, Alecia Phonesavanh and her family went to Atlanta to stay with her sister-in-law. On their minivan's back windshield were pasted stick figures of the family: Mom, dad, three daughters, and a baby boy. That baby boy is poignant, because soon after they arrived, police burst in the home and threw a flash grenade into young Bounkham “Bou Bou” Phonesavanh's crib. "I heard my baby wailing and asked one of the officers to let me hold him," Alecia writes in an account of the incident at Salon. "He screamed at me to sit down and shut up and blocked my view, so I couldn’t see my son."

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Bou Bou is still fighting for his life, with a hole in his chest that exposes his ribs, and Phonesavanh's only comfort is the hope that his ordeal "might make us angry enough that we stop accepting brutal SWAT raids as a normal way to fight the 'war on drugs,'" she writes. All around the country SWAT teams are making similar raids, as police departments stockpile weapons, like flash-bang grenades, that were intended for war zones. "It’s time to remind the cops that they should be serving and protecting our neighborhoods, not waging war on the people in them." Click for her full column. (Read more Bounkham Phonesavanhs stories.)

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