• Lawyer for child hurt in SWAT raid takes issue to U.S. attorney

    By: Kerry Kavanaugh

    Updated:

    ATLANTA - The attorney for a child burned during a SWAT raid say he's looking to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for justice.

    Bounkham Phonesevahn was seriously hurt when a police grenade exploded in his playpen in May.

    Only Channel 2 Action News was there Tuesday as the group advocating for a child critically burned by a police grenade marched into the federal courthouse.

    The group met with U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates to discuss federal charges against the deputies involved in the SWAT raid.

    The incident began with a no-knock warrant and ended with an explosion in the 19-month-old's crib. Yate’s office declined to comment on the conversation Tuesday.

    "We were just given reassurances that they were looking into it and not taking it lightly,” family attorney Mawuli Mel Davis told Channel 2’s Kerry Kavanaugh.

    Davis admits federal charges are a tall order.

    "Under federal law there has to be some intent, some specific intent to violate civil rights,” Davis said. “And that's a challenge."

    When police raided the Habersham County home in May they were looking for a drug dealer. He wasn't there.

    Instead Bounkahm, also known as baby Bou-Bou, and his family were sleeping just beyond the door deputies entered.

    Channel 2 Action News broke news of the 15-page presentment, in which a grand jury found no cause for criminal charges against the deputies involved.

    But the grand jury was very critical of the investigation leading up to the raid.

    They called the deputies' work hurried and sloppy.

    "Ms. Yates, the other attorneys in her office, did express disappointment that there weren't state charges,” Davis said. "The concern for the family is that they have not yet received justice."

    Davis and other advocates believe there was evidence deputies were reckless.

    “If this office does not act, it is more likely that something like this will happen again,” said state Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta.

    Channel 2 Action News has confirmed that one of the deputies involved resigned in the wake of the raid.

    On Tuesday the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council confirmed they received her surrendered certification.


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