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Grand jury: No charges in drug raid that injured baby

A Habersham Co. grand jury has declined to press any criminals charges in a controversial drug raid that injured a baby
Bou Phonesavanh

HABERSHAM COUNTY, Ga. -- A Habersham County grand jury has declined to press any criminals charges in a controversial drug raid that injured a baby.

Bou "Baby Bou Bou" Phonesavanh was hospitalized in May after a flash grenade landed in the playpen he was sleeping in. Members of the Mountain NCIS Team in Habersham County were were looking for a suspected drug dealer at the time.

The grand jury said that while the drug investigation was "hurried, sloppy, and unfortunately not in accordance with the best practices and policies", they fond "no evidence of criminal intent or criminal negligence on the part of any law enforcement officer involved."

The grand jury wrote, "Some of what contributed to this tragedy can be attributed to well-intentioned people getting in too big a hurry, and not slowing down and taking enough time to consider the possible consequences of their actions."

A family spokesperson, Marcus Coleman, said the raid wasn't simply the result of sloppy police work, it was a crime, in his opinion.

"This family does not deserve the tragedy that they've experience," Coleman said. "This little child his injuries and his ongoing medical procedures, and there's nobody to be held accountable."

For the past week, the grand jury has pored over the evidence and listened to testimony in the case. They wrote, "We have seen and heard the very real sadness, regret and anguish in the law enforcement officers who were involved in these events."

Last week, the sheriff's office announced that the drug task force involved in the raid will no longer be in operation. Instead it's joining a larger task force supervised by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Coleman said the dismantlement of the unit is not the justice the family is seeking.

The baby and his family have moved back to their home state of Wisconsin.

The Phonesevanh family has racked up more than a million dollars in medical bills which the county recently said it would not pay for.

The U.S. Attorney's Office has launched its own investigation into the case but has not announced if they will pursue federal charges.

READ the report (.PDF)