Crowds gather to end no-knock warrants in wake of injured toddler

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ATLANTA - People showed up from all over Georgia Saturday, carrying signs demanding change and an end to no-knock warrants.
 

“We're here to question the policy of busting down doors in the middle of the night. Throwing flash grenades into homes when they don't know who's there,” said James Bell with Georgia's Taxpayer Alliance.
 
Bell organized the event, which comes after a special response team searching for a suspected drug dealer threw a stun grenade into the Cornelia home on May 28. The device exploded inside the crib of 19-month-old Bounkhan Phonesavanh.
 
“We will not tolerate the firebombing of innocent sleeping children while they lay sleeping peacefully in their cribs,” said Lawrenceville resident Ron Williams.
 
The toddler is in a medically-induced coma after losing the use of one lung and suffering bad burns to his face.
 
“It really makes you sick to your stomach, you want to cry, you think always what if that was my child,” said Griffin resident Marie Lamb.
 
Several people came to the rally to support the Habersham County Sheriff's Office. Before obtaining the no-knock warrant, Sheriff Joey Terrell said an informant made a drug buy in the same room the device was thrown but during that transaction there was no sign of children.
 
“Nobody's perfect. Everybody's going to make mistakes from time to time but they're good people. They're doing a quality job and we live in a safe environment because of them,” said Pastor Mike Franklin from the Torch Church.
 
The district attorney's office in Habersham County is looking into the circumstances surrounding what happened but at this time it has not opened an official investigation.



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