They promise to be ‘more careful’ next time (updated)

Toddler critically burned during SWAT raid

Atlanta. Police conduct a no-knock SWAT drug raid at 3 am. Bust open the door, and toss in a stun grenade, which lands in a crib on the pillow next to a baby’s face, and goes off.

The injuries are horrifying.

Channel 2 has decided not to share most of the photos because of the graphic nature of the child’s injuries.

“He’s in the burn unit. We go up to see him and his whole face is ripped open. He has a big cut on his chest,” Phonesavanh said. “He’s only 19 months old. He didn’t do anything.”[…]

[Police Chief Rick] Darby told Channel 2’s Wendy Corona that the entire unit is very broken up about the incident.

“You’re trying to minimize anything that could go wrong and in this case the greatest thing went wrong,” Darby said. “Is it going to make us be more careful in the next one? Yes ma’am, it is. It’s gonna make us double question.”

[Thanks, Jean]


Sheriff in Burned Baby Raid Wants Your Prayers; Target of Warrant Could Be Charged For Injuries to Toddler


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44 Responses to They promise to be ‘more careful’ next time (updated)

  1. “You’re trying to minimize anything that could go wrong and in this case the greatest thing went wrong,” Darby said. “Is it going to make us be more careful in the next one? Yes ma’am, it is. It’s gonna make us double question.”

    The question is…is it absolutely necessary to break into peoples’ homes and terrorize them, in the pursuit of DRUGS?!?

    The obvious answer is NO.

    This needs to END.

  2. Howard says:

    “You’re trying to minimize anything that could go wrong…”

    You’re sure as hell NOT trying to minimize anything that could go wrong if you’re blindly throwing a stun grenade into someone’s house.

    There have been recent articles and books on the militarization of police departments around the country. I now think there needs to be articles and books written about how many of these departments have moved beyond simply being militaristic and have become full blown terrorist organizations.

  3. Common Science says:

    How can you not agree with police Chief Darby? The entire Atlanta SWAT unit should be broken up. Deconstruction should also apply to any other unit that achieves a reputation for neglecting to avoid despoiling the lives of innocent people in wantonless pursuit of vice offenders.

  4. claygooding says:

    One bullet in their shirt pocket,,that should remove the chickenshits.

  5. jean valjean says:

    sheriff joey in the video is a character straight out of the movie In the Heat of the Night. if brains were dynamite he wouldnt have enough to part his hair

  6. Howard says:

    OT, For every minor sane thing they do, they pull off nutjob stuff like this, that proves — deep down — that our elected officials are raving imbeciles;

    House Gives A Raise To DEA As Congressman Asks Why

    • B. Snow says:

      This is infuriating!

      Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), who chairs the House appropriations subcommittee that funds the agency. Wolf, who is retiring from Congress, gave the DEA a boost it didn’t ask for on his way out the door.

      “This Old (House) Bastard” – is resigning = So he gets ‘free-reign’ to do whatever he damn well pleases? So, 35 million is “a boost”! WTF??

      • Howard says:

        The 35 million dollars beyond what the DEA is requesting is Rep. Frank Wolf’s parting gift to the DEA. Of course, it really isn’t coming from him though, is it? He decided to flush 35 million “extra” dollars of taxpayer money down the gaping toilet mouth of that reviled agency. Quite the upstanding custodian of tax payer money, wouldn’t you say?

        • claygooding says:

          My bet is it is shut-up money for Michelle,,she will have more in her bank account behind it you can bet.

        • B. Snow says:

          I suppose that would be more than enough for her to play “Bicycle Detective” = for a good long time.

          Now if they would just send her to some unbelievably dangerous part of the planet (get her the fuck out of our “hair” aka lives), She could take her CI fuck-buddy to play “Cloak & Dagger” = where it doesn’t really impact innocent people (to the extent possible)= but make sure to let her THINK she’s horse-raping average citizens on a whim…

          Then, Maybe -(just maybe)- almost everyone involved could be = just a little bit of happier with their lives?

          I Know, = Maybe they should actually help her out with her fight, and possibly numerous others like = Kevie-Kev, Patty-Cake, Cal-Vurina-Chow, Bill De’Gamblier, and all their myriad friends.

          We could help them to go and ‘take the fight’, ‘straight into the heart’ of known Drug Cartel territories… So, they can go down into their sleazy hangouts – and put a stop drug abuse right at its very source!

          What with – all their oh-so-persuasive “messages” = what could go wrong? They ought to take some of the soon to be unemployed “local SWAT teams”.

          Who we’ve been keeping very well equipped, and extensively trained = To deal with this very sort of similarly ‘dangerous drug dealers’ here in the US!

          These ‘Drug Warriors’ could go and employ their Super-Effective persuasive tactics & rhetoric, like: “Think of all the Chitlins you’re harming!” or the – (not at all ironic or confusing to the Prohib-Idiots) “Go To Arguments” –
          I can just picture it now – it would be so moving, so heartwarming & beautiful to watch as they changed tens of thousands of “hearts & minds”:

          “Do you know what kinda of message are you sending to all of our children – and to your children as well = when you’re ‘glamorizing drugs’ like this?”
          “How can you do this so thoughtlessly, with no concern about the dangers of illegal drug abuse?”

          “Think of all the young people you’re turning into life-long addicts, All those innocent babies whose lives you’re ruining. And of all those *powerless* drug-addicts you are creating, with each & every shipment of your dangerous illegal drugs – like marijuana – across the border into OUR Country?”
          “How can you do this and still manage to somehow go to bed at night, sleeping here so safe and soundly?”
          Oh my goodness, I think this plan just might work… Somebody, needs to call (I’m thinking) Pat and ask him if he would like to so dutifully serve his country by spearheading this initiative!

  7. Duncan20903 says:


    The idiot from Montana has been cleared to gather signatures for a ballot initiative to fully re-criminalize cannabis Other idiots from Montana couldn’t get enough signatures to get a similar proposal on the ballot in 2010. I’ve got to wonder if it gets on the ballot and then rejected by the voters of Montana, will that inure to our benefit equally or more than ballot initiatives like those in Colorado and Washington? Sure, my inner nattering nabob of negativism is certain that it will be approved by the voters. But given the current bias of the citizenry combined with the fact that this proposed law eliminates State sovereignty and assigns Montana law to the whims of the Federal lawmakers I really can see this thing failing just like Arizona Prop 300 (1998):

    Referendum of an act which requires authorization by the Federal Food and Drug Administration or the United States Congress for the medical use of marijuana before doctors may lawfully prescribe Schedule I drugs, including heroin, LSD, marijuana and analogs of PCP, to seriously ill or terminally ill patients in Arizona.

    A “yes” vote shall have the effect of requiring authorization from the Federal Food and Drug Administration or the United States Congress for the medical use of marijuana before it will be lawful for doctors to prescribe Schedule I drugs, including heroin, LSD, marijuana and analogs of PCP, to seriously or terminally ill patients in Arizona.

    A “no” vote shall have the effect of retaining the provisions of state law allowing doctors to prescribe Schedule I drugs, including heroin, LSD, marijuana and analogs of PCP, to seriously or terminally ill patients without the authorization of the Federal Food and Drug Administration or the United States Congress.


    Billings businessman’s marijuana proposal cleared for signature-gathering

    The initiative says that drugs now listed on the Schedule I of the federal Controlled Substances Act or in the future would be illegal under Montana law. A drug on Schedule I of the federal Controlled Substances Act would generally be illegal for all purposes here unless otherwise authorized by law, it says.

    Marijuana is on Schedule 1 of the federal Controlled Substances Act so it is illegally federally and would be illegal in Montana if I-174 passes.

    • Tim says:

      This Steve Zabawa dude is a real piece of work:

      Steve Zabawa, a prominent member of Safe Community, Safe Kids, which launched a campaign to support repeal, was willing to lease him space in a warehouse Zabawa owned, Higgins said. “I turned him down because he wanted a 10 percent share of my business,” Higgins said. Neither Knox nor Zabawa denies having had business dealings with Higgins.

      Pot Profits – Billings Gazette

      See also:

    • Servetus says:

      Billings is the epicenter of the religious right who reside in Montana. I’m not certain of the overall demographics of the state, but I suspect there are more normal people in Montana than pod people, and that the referendum measure will lose.

  8. This is crime in action. This department should be banned from using SWAT. THEY SHOULD BE IN PRISON.

    This is the criminal activity that we as a nation should be protected from.

  9. Servetus says:

    Next time? If the MSM were to treat this story with the attention it deserves, there wouldn’t be a “next time”. The alternative media is covering the story; not a word from the Four Networks of the Apocalypse: ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox.

    Forty-two years ago, after a U.S. attack on a Vietnamese village during the Viet Nam War, an iconic picture of a naked young girl running from her village and covered with Napalm burns made a decisive impact on U.S. and world opinion regarding the war. No similar journalistic dedication or responsibility appears to exist with the current drug war, nor with regard to Bounkham Phonesavanh, an American citizen and mere infant, burned and most likely scarred for life by drug war SWAT troops operating within U.S. borders.

    The tragedy involving 19-month-old Bounkham could have been prevented. All that was necessary was for SOMEONE TO THINK! Of course, in a police state, no one expects the police to think; it’s not deemed part of SWAT’s job description. Nor does it appear to be the job of governors, state legislators, or mayors who within their purview could, if they so desired, drastically change the way SWAT teams operate.

    What’s needed are street demonstrations outside the headquarters of individual main stream media studios, whereby the MSM moguls are finally made the news, and who are thereby targeted for their obvious blind support of the drug war and its dangerous authoritarian policies.

    • B. Snow says:

      They’re getting to it – albeit slowly – ABC has the story on it’s News Page – its cycling thru a list of videos – (It’s just that same ABC footage, minus the local reporter/anchor commentary – before/after the “main” = 1:19 min clip)…

      The MSM has been ‘too busy’ being “Shocked, shocked I tell you” that “The VA has waiting lists” = I was ‘shocked’ that this came as a surprise to anyone! It’s always been that way… afaik.
      Or, that an ‘old-as dirt’ NBA team owner Sterling is bigot & said racist things on tape to his “mistress” and it got sold to TMZ!
      OMG, I’m shocked, shocked I tell you… Uhm BTW, where are my winnings?

  10. What did they do after the SWAT raid? They went and found the fellow they tried to throw the grenade at. They arrested him.

    Explain to me why they even needed SWAT in the first place.

    • allan says:

      so… ummm… like you’re saying that they could have knocked on the door and said “hi, we have a warrant” or similar? But then there’s no adrenalin rush, no getting all copper groovy in fancy outfits, no “ok boys, let’s lock-and-load” and no ride in the big van with the other testosterone overloaded delinquents officers.

  11. Dave in IL says:

    “Channel 2 has decided not to share most of the photos because of the graphic nature of the child’s injuries.”

    I wonder if the parents will feel differently. Maybe they could use the approach Emmet Till’s mother used and force people to look at what these reckless goons did to this child. Obviously this is their decision and a very difficult one at that. But it could be an effective– though horrific–way of demonstrating that the “Drug War” is a war on anyone that happens to be in the path of our militarized police departments, including children.

    Truth is often uncomfortable, even painful. But its time for people to stop averting their eyes from the disaster that is drug prohibition.

    • Common Science says:

      Good point Dave. It’d be of upmost importance to find out how the mother feels about these sanitized reports on her baby’s armed attackers.

      Harry Anslinger offered in print and on tour, the results of the life long psychotic – Victor Licata as the showcase of his ‘gore file’ for supposed proof of marihuana’s propensity to create monsters. When Licata decided to axe murder his family, the case photos were used to graphically fortify Anslinger’s ambitions to vilify cannabis for his captains of industry.

      The difference is, we know the actual chronology of events leading up to this horrific crime.

  12. How to Start a Police SWAT Team With Federal Funding

    • Jean Valjean says:

      There’s a link from that site to this infomercial:

      “….Every year, billions are given away – Yes that’s given away – in free funding. With thousands of federal programs alone (not including those programs run by states), there might be money out there for just about anyone – or anything. Additionally, there are tens of thousands of foundations, corporations, and other funding agencies that also give out funding. You just need to apply and be sure you are eligible to have a shot of receiving the funding!”
      Money for for just about anyone? This hogfest needs to end.

      • Local small town received over $150,000 from Homeland – went to public safety. I thought we needed to cut welfare, SS,etc.

        They have thousands and more for some good grovelling and an adept college grad that can type. Especially if its for local jails, police, SWAT, local courts, or city hall. Drug testing is in. No doubt in my mind how this drug war works.

  13. B. Snow says:

    I’m thinking this news-story may just be one that people won’t forget, but I’m not sure?

    Because they DID later find they person they were looking for, because it involved “Meth” – which is now often regarded as possibly the ‘most dastardly’ of drugs (that’s quite debatable IMO), some will also almost assuredly note that:

    “The family’s home in Wisconsin recently burned down, prompting their trop to Atlanta to visit family.”

    It does sound plausibly “suspect” – they’ll want to know why the home burned down (I’m sure you can see where that line of “what if?” is headed)…

    THEN AGAIN, the “SRT”/(aka swat) Cops really fucked this upAnd as the reported/anchor noted = there was a Minivan in the driveway – with CHILD-SEATS & TOYS visible in the back of it = THAT, absolutely should’ve been noticed!

    Although it might (indirectly) highlight the “prohibition-induced” dangers of “meth” vs. pharmaceutical amphetamines/”speed” = I know it’s OT (to many), BUT IMO = it’s related (ignore it if you like – or Pete can delete it) = People can & do use/abuse pharmaceutical ‘speed’ & stay quite notably “Functional”.

    Much like (some) people who take prescription opiates – who CAN take them orally just fine until the acetaminophen fucks up their liver (that starts at ~4,000 milligrams a day) = and/or they try to use similar drugs intravenously.
    So – YES, many folks DO tend to ‘find ways’, to fuck it all up = eventually…

    BUT, I’m still of the opinion that most of the harm is in fact = “Prohibition-Induced”… and that (#1) the paranoia of getting caught & (#2) the things people end up doing to acquire the illegal drugs are both “tied for 1st-place” – as the “most harmful aspects” of said drug use/abuse… That (#3) the direct effects of the drugs – are actually much further back – in any true measure of the harm caused by these drugs…

    That is of course – Anyone that’s not on a moral-crusade to tell a “Horror-Story” version of drug use – Much like the “abortion houses” that some religious groups used to put up on Halloween instead of “haunted houses” back when I was growing up.
    And its very much same sorta tactic used by most of the ONDCP commercials & similar “messages”…
    My concern here is that people are telling LIES in these “messages sent to kids”, and they’re (intentionally or not) Severely Undermining any & everyone else trying to highlight the real/true dangers of drug-use.

    Quick Example: Sleep-Deprivation is quite often the cause of the harm to people using stimulants (people on NO DRUGS can/will do seriously crazy things if they don’t/cant sleep). Along with the lack of concern given by these folks to nutrition and/or hygiene = which leads to the “Meth Monster”-appearance that doesn’t accompany other users.
    Like, say – high-school or college students using Ritalin or Adderall to stay up all night cramming for tests or what-have-you, don’t tend to have this problem.
    But = IF, they did this for more than (say) 2-3 days at a time – without sleeping or eating, eventually it would indeed “add up” & the Monstrous-appearance would manifest itself.
    WHENEVER, ‘Moderation’ gets thrown out the window – THAT IS WHEN – ‘Danger’ shows up to bite people in the ass!

    (I don’t mean to detract from the story here – But, -Sadly- I expect the fact that it involved “Meth” – will already do that when it comes down to it. I’m NOT saying that it should… just concerned that it might.)

  14. Nick says:

    That cop eventually said, ” The person I blame in this whole thing is the person selling the drugs. Wanis Thonetheva, that’s the person I blame in all this.”

    Even though “Wanis” is not the one who tossed a damn flashbang into a babies crib and he blames him? Disgusting. These guys will justify anything, they’re like a 9 year old who refuses to accept blame for the things they did wrong.

  15. goblet says:

    “They promise to be ‘more careful’ next time”

    Pinky promise?

  16. Ho Chi says:

    Hero Bulkner would have let the Kid Cook till Done, eh?
    Georgia GuideStones mmHmmmm,
    Trained by Israelis, mmHmmm, ptooooooey
    The Urge to Kick Cars and Light Fires is GREAT/UP/ELEVATED, tonite.

  17. allan says:

    and they think maybe we’re kidding when we talk about crimes against humanity?

    methinks my blackberry brambles are in trouble today.

    • Jean Valjean says:

      They’ve simply talked themselves into believing that their victims are without humanity, so no human rights.

      • allan says:

        I whacked the crap outta them blackberries. Interesting thought during the massacre (8×10 glossy pics w/ arrows to come)… the drug war is a lot like these damn himalayan blackberries.

        They start off casual enough but give ’em a year and that one stalk is now 6 feet tall and about the same across. Give it two, three years and it’s a whole wall of bramble full of thorns and hell to get into.

        But when you start cutting them down the pile of pieces is diddly squat compared to the space they took while alive = creates thorny problems, takes up a lot of space but has very little actual substance.

        • Windy says:

          I know this is completely OT, and I know that they’re a hassle when growing in a yard or pasture, but oh, I LOVE those Himalayan blackberries, so sweet and juicy, the little wild blackberries are great for pies but just for eating the Himalayan is the best. I used to, as a kid, get the same high from climbing up on the roof of my grandma’s barn and eating my fill of those berries as I get from using cannabis (and also when lying in my great-aunt’s hammock, eating a green transparent apple, and making pictures in the clouds). After I’d had my fill of berries and let my mind run free in a lazy thoughtstream for a time, I’d pick some to take in to Grandma, who would pour fresh cream on them before eating them.

  18. Howard says:

    OK, I’m posting this link although I’ve not thoroughly examined the contents. I’m an Yves Smith fan but I haven’t read her blog in a long time. Another reason I post this link is because DrugWarRant is mentioned in the comments. Pete’s “Minutes of Infamy” continues. No good deed ever goes unpunished ;).

    Big Food, Big Pharma, Big Tobacco, Big Finance, and Little Marijuana

  19. Tim says:

    Has anyone thought of challenging Kevin Sabet to visit this baby in the burn unit? Maybe when he sees the evil he has wrought, he might repent?

    It’s funny. I used to know an East Point, GA detective who got PTSD over seeing a crime scene involving drugs and fire, but never made the connection to the drug war. In fact she had to wait an extra year to join because she admitted to pulling on a joint when she was in Toronto the year before when she was still doing her PhD at Emory.

    They just don’t get it.

    • Nick says:

      I’m pretty sure Kevin knows and doesn’t care, or doesn’t care enough to change his mind. These guys know all the damage their policies cause, yet continue to push forward with them. Drug Warriors are the real Terrorists in the US.

  20. Blame seems to be substituting for responsibility. That about covers it. It was his fault that my grenade blew up the baby. Should have thought of that when he started messing with drugs.

    Kick the cat and blame the dog. Yes, this is definitely a good time to see how many flash bangs are covered in that grant. Might need a few more. Kid was going to foster care anyways.

  21. C.E. says:

    Sheriff Terrell says, “The person I blame in this whole thing is the person selling the drugs. Wanis Thonetheva, that’s the person I blame in all this. They are no better than a domestic terrorist, because they don’t care about families—they didn’t care about the family, the children living in that household. . . .”

    Give this man a Ph.D. in irony.

    • primus says:

      That is NOT irony, it is a two year old explaining that the fight started when he hit me back. Blamestorming rather than looking for a better way. Soon they will state that the officers followed ‘proper procedures’ and so on, which just means that the blame really should be placed on those who designed those ‘proper procedures’, who instituted and oversaw training, who hired and didn’t fire incompetents, which is to say, the chief. The chief constable is the one who should be being grilled, who should be questioned as to his competence. When cops are in charge of hiring, of evaluations, of training, of firing, it is cop mentality at work. Of course they followed cop procedures. Those procedures are designed to protect cops, to ensure that they suffer no harms no matter what they do, not to do a better job of policing, rather they are designed to protect cops, not to protect US. They are also designed to allow the cops to hide behind these rules and procedures. It almost seems that this is a shield against scrutiny. Nobody asks why these procedures are cast in concrete, why they continue to be followed when they lead to such dramatically bad results. If the pseudo-journalists would only ask awkward questions about how these procedures are vetted, how the training program is designed and followed etc. and watch the chief squirm like a worm on a hook, then change may happen. Otherwise, this BS will continue. In other words, hold the chief’s feet to the fire. Of course, as Richard Cowan noted, the only reason these ill-advised prohibition laws continue is bad journalism. We suffer from a lack of good journalism. Is it any wonder people are ignoring MSM more and more? This type of story makes my blood boil. Totally unnecessary. Evil. The ONLY proper societal response is extreme civilian oversight of the cops, which will never happen because they don’t want oversight, and their puppet-masters will do what the cops want, because they fear political repercussions.

  22. DdC says:

    * Got SqWAT?

    * Policing for Profit

    * Drug Worriers Preferred Methods of Treatment

    * DAREyl SWAT Gates, LAPDog Perversions.

    “in the war on drugs, unlike any war in American History, unlike any modern civilized war of the past two centuries in this war on drugs they are not stopping the battle and allowing the Red Cross on the field. In fact, they are shooting directly at the sick and at those who are trying to help them..and they are shooting to kill.”
    ~-Peter McWilliams, speech before the LNC, July 4, 1999

  23. Howard says:

    From the CNN article referenced in the Reason article.

    “A confidential informant hours earlier had purchased methamphetamine at the house, the sheriff says. The informant told police that there were men standing guard outside the home, and it was unclear whether they were armed.”


    Ah, yes, those wonderful “confidential informants”. Always providing the very best information. Did the informant mention that a family with children were also staying at the house? Looks like the trustworthy informant left that important bit of information out. Were there “guards” standing outside the house when the raid was conducted at 3am? I suspect not. And the police showing up with a battering ram and stun grenades obviously didn’t even know whether the target of the raid was in the house. What to do? Just toss a stun grenade in the house — without any knowledge of who or what it might land on — just for good measure.

    It’s one thing to be as woefully incompetent as the Cornelia police department. It’s something all together different to be so incompetent AND have access to battering rams and stun grenades.

    By the way, a local pastor went to speak to the officers who conducted the raid. No mention if the pastor went to speak to the family of the injured toddler. Of course not.

  24. primus says:

    Of course the (establishment) pastor went to comfort the (establishment) police not the (non-establishment) victim. The church, the cops and the politicians form a triad trying to control the rest of us. It has been thus since forever. All must be watched like a hawk. None are trustworthy.

  25. I went to see the update, then went to the related article in the update:

    I found this telling sentence: “The person I blame in this whole thing is the person selling the drugs. Wanis Thonetheva, that’s the person I blame in all this. They are no better than a domestic terrorist, because they don’t care about families—they didn’t care about the family, the children living in that household—to be selling dope out of it, to be selling methamphetamine out of it. All they care about is making money.”

    That statement was from Habersham County, Georgia, Sheriff Joey Terrell.

    If the profit margin were removed, this never would have happened.

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