SWAT Team Baby Burning -- More Police Militarization?



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By Kurt Hofmann, June 8th 2014
JPFO writer contributor, © 2014.

"And is the distinction really that important?". (Picture, Oleg Volk)

Unless one is devoid of every shred of humanity, the photograph of 19-month-old Bounkham "Bou Bou" Phonesavanh's face, horribly burned by a flash-bang stun grenade thrown by a SWAT team into his crib, evokes a rage as white-hot as the flame these "peace officers" unleashed on a baby. Worse, as horrifying as that photograph is, WSB-TV decided not to show most of the rest of the images shared by the family, because of their extreme graphic nature.

Why was this necessary? Because a confidential informant had told our tax-funded protectors that someone in the house had sold him $50 worth of methamphetamine. This kind of force was considered a necessary response to the non-violent, consensual "crime" of selling unauthorized pharmaceuticals. And then, as it turns out, neither the suspect nor any drugs were found in the house. But apparently, the SWAT team is not to be faulted:

"There were no clothes, no toys, nothing to indicate that there were children present in the home. If there had been then we'd have done something different," [Cornelia, Georgia, police Chief Rick] Darby said.

See? It was the family's fault, for keeping the house too neat, foolishly and irresponsibly ignoring the risk that a marauding police paramilitary unit would thus be unaware of the possibility of the presence of very young children, and would therefore not know to refrain from the apparently standard tactic of tossing pyrotechnic weapons into cribs.

Perhaps worst of all, as Will Grigg points out with characteristic sagacity, those who, in order to "protect and serve" the public, occasionally have to incinerate babies in their cribs, have blithely decided to chalk this up to "[stuff] happens":

"I stand behind what our team did," insists Habersham, Georgia County Sheriff Joey Terrell, referring to a 3:00 a.m. no-knock SWAT raid in which a 19-month-old child was severely burned by a flash-bang grenade. "There's nothing to investigate, there's nothing to look at," continued the sheriff, relaying the conclusions of the County DA's office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. "Bad things can happen. That's just the world we live in."

So Sheriff Terrell has apparently been given reason to believe that there will be no consequences. And perhaps he is correct--tragically, horrifically correct--in his belief that there will be no legal consequences, no official holding to account. But there most certainly will be consequences.

There cannot fail to be consequences from the discovery on the part of every parent in America that the government's hired muscle can kick down their doors, set their children on fire, and the official response will be a shrug, and maybe an "oops."

Inevitably, some parents will refuse to tolerate the intolerable. Some, even knowing the vanishingly small likelihood of their own survival, will fight back with every weapon they possess. Private citizens defending their homes and families will doubtless do the bulk of the dying, but they will not do all of it.

The Posse Comitatus Act is a vital law, but as the police themselves morph more and more aggressively into an occupying army, it is quickly losing relevance. Those serving in that occupying army, though, should not expect an easy time of it. Parents will die to protect their children . . . but would prefer to kill for them.

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A former paratrooper, Kurt Hofmann was paralyzed in a car accident in 2002. The helplessness inherent to confinement to a wheelchair prompted him to explore armed self-defense, only to discover that Illinois denies that right, inspiring him to become active in gun rights advocacy. He also writes the St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner column.

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