• Family of child hurt in SWAT raid seeks federal charges

    By: Kerry Kavanaugh

    Updated:

    HABERSHAM COUNTY, Ga. - The attorney for the child injured by a police grenade says he and the family are now seeking federal charges against the deputies involved in the botched SWAT raid.

    Channel 2's Kerry Kavanaugh broke the news on Twitter Monday that a grand jury concluded deputies should not face charges for what happened to then 19-month-old Bounkham Phonesevhan.

    Tuesday, the family attorney said they’re requesting a meeting with the U.S. attorney this week.

    “When I read this and the slant that I think it has, it is that they were clearly circling the wagons to protect their own,” said attorney Mawuli Davis.

    Davis had harsh words for the Habersham County grand jury that spent six days examining a police raid that critically injured the young boy.

    Police raided a Habersham County home in May, after obtaining a no-knock warrant, looking for a drug dealer. Instead, they found a family after a flash-bang device exploded in the toddler’s crib.

    In their 15-page presentment, the grand jury had plenty to say about the investigation.

    District Attorney Brian Rickman said it was a very hard working and thorough grand jury.

    "You can tell that they were very emotionally impacted by the situation,” Rickman said Monday. "They're also very cognizant of the fact of whatever findings they made might potentially help prevent another tragedy."

    In their presentment, the grand jury wrote, “There should be no such thing as an emergency drug investigation.”

    They called the deputies’ work "sloppy" and "hurried."

    “If they were sloppy and hurried using a lethal device, then that would equal reckless conduct,” Davis said.

    Davis says the family’s fight for justice is not over.

    U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates emailed a statement saying her office remains involved with the case.

    “Federal authorities have been participating in the investigation of this terrible incident, and now that a state grand jury has declined to return an indictment. We will review the matter for possible federal charges,” said Yates.

    Mawuli Davis says the family will also pursue a civil lawsuit after reviewing all the evidence presented to the grand jury.

    “It is a reflection on all of Georgia and it’s our position that we all should outraged,” Davis said.

    A family spokesman says the toddler, Bou Bou, will celebrate his second birthday this weekend. He is still recovering from a series of surgeries and the psychological impact of the explosion.

    The family is facing more than a million dollars in medical bills. 

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