Target: Senior Judge Phyllis Kravitch, United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
Goal: Lay charges against officers who permanently injured a toddler while executing a search warrant
Police officers will face no charges for throwing a stun grenade that disfigured a one-and-a-half-year-old child in a drug raid gone wrong. While carrying out a search warrant, the officers lobbed the grenade into a playpen, where 19-month old Bounkham, or Bou Bou, was sleeping. The grenades, which usually cause no permanent injury to adults, took off parts of the child’s nose and chest, causing severe burning and permanent disfigurement. The child spent five weeks in the hospital in a medically induced coma, and endured several surgeries. The hospital bill is already over $800,000, and will only rise as the child requires additional surgeries in the future.
Officers entered the home with a no-knock warrant searching for a family member suspected of drug dealing who did not live at the house. The search warrant turned up no illegal drugs, weapons, or the family member, who was later apprehended carrying a small quantity of methamphetamine. Officers claim that they had no knowledge that there was a child in the house when they entered. Despite clear carelessness on the part of the police, a Habersham County grand jury decided to lay no criminal charges in the incident.
The role of a police department and judicial system is to protect the civilians within its jurisdiction, and this should be considered at all times. Before obtaining a warrant, the police department should have been compelled to provide evidence that the family member was staying at the house, as well as be aware of any children or innocents in harms way. The entire situation is rife with negligence on the parts of the police, the judge who issued the warrant, and the jury who allowed excessively violent police to walk away unpunished. Sign the petition below to ask a higher court to take up the matter.
Dear Honorable Phyllis Kravitch,
A 19-month-old toddler was severely burned by a police stun grenade, which tore off parts of the child’s chest and nose. The grenade was thrown near the sleeping toddler, who thankfully survived, but had to spend five weeks in a hospital and undergo multiple surgeries.
Despite the fact that the police did not bother to ascertain whether there were children and innocents in the household, there were no criminal charges laid for their excessive violence and careless attitude. It is clear that the most professional practices were not followed in the execution of this warrant, and this child will forever suffer the consequences. I ask that justice is brought to young Bou Bou and his family, and that the trial is reopened in the Court of Appeals.
[Your Name Here]