Lawmaker pushes for new legislation after baby injured by flash grenade

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HABERSHAM COUNTY, Ga. —

In the wake of baby suffering horrific burns, a Georgia state senator is vowing to enter legislation to make it harder for police to obtain no knock warrants.

Senator Vincent Fort told Channel 2 Action News Democrats and Republicans are ready for change.

"The public is demanding, black, white, Republican, Democrat, is demanding reform to the use of no knock warrants and that’s what we are going to be fighting for," he said.

Fort freely admits his last effort to change the law in 2006 failed.  He plans on introducing the new legislation in January.

The push comes after the tragic incident in May.

Bounkham Phonesavanh spent weeks in the hospital after police, using a no-knock warrant, threw a flash bang grenade into a home where his family was visiting.

Investigators were looking for an alleged drug dealer inside.

 

On Friday, Fort, a Wisconsin state senator, a Phonesavanh's family spokesperson and the child's attorney provided an update on the boy's legal fight and condition.

"His face still bares from scars that are going to take a number of reconstructive surgeries," said family spokesman Marcus Coleman.

"We have been informed by the family that every single night, every single night, this child wakes up screaming and holding his face," said Coleman.

On Friday afternoon, the family's attorney said his office conducted an independent investigation.

He believes the police used faulty information to get the warrant.

Channel 2's Erica Byfield was also told he interviewed the man investigators were looking for and determined he did not sell drugs from the Habersham County home.

"There is a search warrant and an affidavit interrelation to that search warrant that we believe have material errors and false statements in them," said attorney Muwali Davis.

Everyone in attendance, including a state senator from Wisconsin, hopes their collective voice leads to change.

"This is not exclusive to one city, to one state, and there is a need for us to use common ground from an organizing prospective and we will be making sure to do that," said Wisconsin State Sen. Lena C. Taylor.

"We urge those conducting the local and federal investigation to pursue justice for the victims in this cas," said Fort. "It is obvious criminal charges are warranted in this case and we will not be satisfied unless those charges are brought."

The GBI completed its investigation and the district attorney in Habersham County is now reviewing it.

Fort is asking the state attorney general and governor to get involved.

He added he will host a public meeting about no knock warrants this fall.