HABERSHAM COUNTY, Ga. -- Legal counsel and family of 19-month-old Bounkan Phonesavanh spent more than three hours at GBI headquarters Tuesday, imploring agents to investigate the police raid that led to the child's injuries
Bou Phonesavanh was hurt when Habersham County deputies executing a no-knock warrant threw a flash-grenade into the house.It went off inside the 19-month-old child's playpen, leaving him badly injured.
At a news conference on Tuesday afternoon, the child's parents, Bounkham and Alecia Phonesavanh, said that the child remains in critical condition in a medically-induced coma.
The parents said that they had been living in the home for two months after their residence in Wisconsin burned down. Bounkham Phonesavanh said that the family was set to move back to Wisconsin on the day after the incident occurred that left their child injured.
Alecia Phonesavanh said that she never saw any drugs in the home. Bounkham Phonesavanh said that the night of the incident was the first time he had seen any suspicious activity at the house.
After the child was injured, Bounkham Phonesavanh said that authorities claimed he had only suffered a lost tooth, and that the boy was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital without his parents. Bounkham Phonesavanh said that police showed no sympathy or compassion and only gave the family the address to the hospital.
They described the officer who threw the grenade that injured their son as heartless afterward. "The officers cursed and yelled at us and threatened to arrest me after we expressed our concern for our son," said Bounkam Phonesavanh, the boy's father.
The parents said they didn't find out the extent of Bou's injuries until they arrived at the hospital.
Family attorney Mawuli Mel Davis disputed many claims that authorities have made since the incident. He said that there were never any armed guards at the house. He denied that the playpen had been pressed against the door, and said that there was never a drug sale at the house.
Davis pointed out that the suspect that police were after, Wanis Thonetheva, was taken into custody without incident at another home later that night.
Davis said that police should have been able to tell that the house had children in it because a minivan was parked outside, and a playpen was also visible.
The parents said they met with Georgia Bureau of Investigation officials on Tuesday, and hope that the officers involved in the search are criminally prosecuted.
State Sen. Vincent Fort called on legislators should provide clear criteria that judges must follow before granting no-knock warrants.
Family spokesperson Marcus Coleman said that a rally is planned on the steps of the Habersham County courthouse on Saturday at noon.
Coleman said the family is in need of financial donations for food, clothing and housing. A fund has been set up. Click here for more information: http://www.gofundme.com/9mih84