Horror: Stun grenade tossed by Georgia cops during drug raid lands in toddler’s playpen

posted at 3:21 pm on May 30, 2014 by Allahpundit

It blew a hole through the side of the ‘pen and “ripped open” the baby’s face, as his mother put it. He’s in the burn unit right now in a medically induced coma. The police swear they had no idea there was a child in the home, a claim supported by the fact that the baby didn’t actually live there. He and his mother were staying in the home after their own house burned down; the alleged drug dealer (who’s unrelated to the boy) lives there and, if the cops’ informant is to be believed, sells meth out of the living room.

Meth’s not the only thing cops expected to find there.

“We had prior information on it,” Terrell said of the circumstances of the home and its occupants. “The individual had been involved in an altercation with another male involving a possible AK-47 [rifle] several months ago, and he was arrested on some weapons charges. Supposedly that was about drugs.”…

“When we did surveillance on the house, there were two guards standing guard at the door … like they weren’t letting anybody in,” Terrell said. “We did make the buy out of the house. We took that information, along with our other information, and went to see the judge and got a warrant.”…

“According to the confidential informant, there were no children,” Terrell said. “When they made the buy, they didn’t see any children or any evidence of children there, so we proceeded with our standard operation.”

A local magistrate issued a “no-knock warrant” to raid the house, partly because of the info linking the suspect to “assault-type weapons.” When the cops got there and tried to open the door, they felt something blocking it so they tossed in a flash-bang. The obstacle turned out to be … the playpen, with the baby inside. Here’s a photo of the aftermath, if you can stomach it. The suspect wasn’t even there; they picked him up later at another residence.

Negligence or tragic accident? Patterico, a prosecutor by trade, puts it this way:

Don’t treat this like the cops intended this. They didn’t. When the story says deputies are distraught over this, I believe it. Cops don’t go into law enforcement to hurt small children.

But look: if you use stun grenades in the service of a no-knock warrant like this, tragedies like this are going to happen. The question that police (and members of the public who pay the police) have to ask themselves is this: is it worth this kind of risk to arrest people for the crime in question? If the crime is murder, you might have one answer. If the crime is selling drugs, you might have another.

Indeed. What’s the threshold for using a flash-bang sight unseen, knowing that anything and anyone could be behind that door? Selling meth might not meet that threshold, but maybe the possibility of an AK-47 being pointed at you when the door swings open does. What I want to know is, how would they have approached this if they did have reason to believe a child was there? No flash-bangs, obviously, which means a greater risk for the cops, but would you rather have cops take the extra risk or a 19-month-old who’s asleep in his crib? That’s what this case is about. How much extra danger should the police reasonably be expected to expose themselves to in the name of avoiding terrible crossfire accidents like this one?

Exit quotation from the sheriff, guaranteed to inflame supporters and opponents of the war on drugs: “The person I blame in this whole thing is the person selling the drugs… 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.”


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Here the comments place the blame squarely on the mother, or at least the drug dealers themselves.

Lamont Cranston on May 30, 2014 at 3:39 PM

Go over to the headline thread. The tone is completely different.

cptacek on May 30, 2014 at 3:56 PM

Indefensible. The police have been emboldened with too much power — and too little sense of “protect and serve” — and it will not end well. I am a middle aged, employed, tax-paying, fully law-abiding citizen, and when I see a cop I cringe. I just assume he/she is looking to pounce on me for anything at all. I see them as a malevolent enemy. I really do. How sad is that, in this country? And I know I’m not alone.

Rational Thought on May 30, 2014 at 3:56 PM

1. If a written SOP was violated, fire the responsible pig instantly and charge him with involuntary manslaughter. If it wasn’t, just put him on desk duty for a few decades, with no promotions, and fire one who wrote the SOP.

2. Disbar (if applicable) and discharge the magistrate person who issued the no-knock warrant.

3. Put parents away for drugs as well as parental negligence and/or endangering well-being of a minor.

Rix on May 30, 2014 at 3:57 PM

It just seems like our troops have tougher rules of engagement than the cops do.

JellyToast on May 30, 2014 at 3:52 PM

Big time.

Bitter Clinger on May 30, 2014 at 3:57 PM

No one has any responsibility or duty to comply with the police if they don’t identify themselves.

There Goes the Neighborhood on May 30, 2014 at 3:40 PM

Those jackets with POLICE on them and all the yelling are a clue.

katy the mean old lady on May 30, 2014 at 3:48 PM

On the other side of the door in the middle of the night, on a no-knock warrant?

The no-knock warrant says it all. If you don’t even knock on the door…..

There Goes the Neighborhood on May 30, 2014 at 3:57 PM

claudius on May 30, 2014 at 3:46 PM

I am not a fan of the police, I don’t automatically take up for them and I know several who openly claim their main goal at work is to leave after their shift intact. Protecting Joe citizen comes in a distant second, or even third.

That being said, a true drug house cannot stay covert. I am sorry the kid got hurt, I would sleep in the street before I took my kid to a drug house. Those in the house carry the culpability here. The police conducting the raid were following their training. Other than the initial breaching using the stun grenade, how many other grenades were used? How many shots were fired? How many other occupants were injured?

cozmo on May 30, 2014 at 3:57 PM

Another half ass Seal Team Six.

gxbhkt on May 30, 2014 at 3:58 PM

They knew they were raiding a place where meth was sold. It would not be all that unlikely for it to be a place where the meth was MADE. They know that meth labs are highly explosive. And yet, they toss in a flashbang grenade just because the door is blocked???

Did they maybe think they could take care of the whole problem at once, without having to mess with a trial? Just have an “accidental” explosion and it’s all done!

Gesundheit on May 30, 2014 at 3:58 PM

If the inhabitants of that house are endangering others and our children with their guns and their drugs and their violence, the cops damn sure do have a responsibility to bring them down – and if that includes busting doors and kneecaps, so be it. Don’t do the crime.

Recon5 on May 30, 2014 at 3:39 PM

And they don’t need to do so by the most dangerous method possible for all involved.

Many years ago, we had an obvious drug dealer move into our neighborhood 3 houses down from me. Moved in the middle of the night, and from the first day/night, 40 to 50 cars a night stopping at the house for 2 minutes while one person ran in and back out again. Several neighbors and I started tracking visitors and reporting to the cops. After about 3 months, an undercover cop made a buy at the 7-11 down the street, then 5 or 6 police cars came in on the house – in the middle of the afternoon – to clean out the rest. No shots fired. House cleered. All druggies busted. No innocent bystanders hurt or killed.

The cops are the ones creating these dangerous situations by insisting on using the most dangerous method possible to bust the bad guys – apparently because it’s the best way for them to make use of their military gear and play soldier on occasion.

dentarthurdent on May 30, 2014 at 3:58 PM

Let me get this right. Middle of the night – everyone is sleeping, and they use a stun grenade JUST IN CASE the guy is standing with an AK-47 on the other side of the door?

I know – I guess they were being cautious right?

So if I had my .40 in a holster, and can draw and fire it on target in less than a second – how can a guy sleeping with his AK (the more likely scenario – because I’m SURE he’s awake 24/7 expecting the cops at every second) get up and shoot me in less time than that?

I know there are a lot a variables that can happen, but here are the rules as I see them in relation to the fiasco that just happened:

1) Preserve the Public Trust – fail.
2) Protect the Innocent – utter fail.
3) Enforce the Law – not at the expense of 1 & 2.

Keep that in mind if you wish to pursue a “career” in law enforcement.

Turtle317 on May 30, 2014 at 3:58 PM

Now imagine if they got wrong house, and blew your baby’s face off.

That never happens.

BobMbx on May 30, 2014 at 3:58 PM

I’m always amazed by those who believe in laws being enforced seem to attack those are tasked with upholding those laws. These are human beings. If they knew that this toddler was in this drug house, do you really believe they would have tossed this stun grenade into the house? Do you think, when they get back to the station, they cheer the fact that they hurt this toddler? Do you think their bosses slap them on the back and say “great job”? No on all of it. That officer who tossed the stun grenade will be put on desk duty until a full investigation will be completed and in the end, he will will probably lose his job. Someone above said the police have to be right 100% of the time, but that is impossible being a human being. These men and women wear a uniform and take an oath to serve and protect, just like the military but it seems that the military gets a huge pass because of the fog of war. Do you believe that battling drug dealers, crazies with guns, and meth crazed drivers with weapons does not create a fog of war? We have a neighbor who just went through an investigation that was lodged against him by a known drug dealer who said that his rights were violated when he was caught with drugs and they crawled through this man’s life on the word of the drug dealer. But, please, keyboard warriors, fire away.

Pickle on May 30, 2014 at 3:59 PM

You got it. The mindset of equating an attempt to arrest an alleged drug seller in a private home with going after Bin Laden doesn’t help much either.

whatcat on May 30, 2014 at 3:55 PM

Yup. Sending an over-armed and under-trained person with their adrenaline up into any situation is asking for disaster. And here’s just one serving of the disaster we asked for.

alchemist19 on May 30, 2014 at 3:59 PM

Not that I am down on the police here but what is the function of tossing the stun grenade? If they fear someone with an AK-47 how does going up and banging in the door to toss a grenade make you safer? The person would just shoot through the door.

Rocks on May 30, 2014 at 3:59 PM

You are an idiot. You are one of those people that happens upon an arrest of someone and then shouts at the cops “leave him alone”. People like you are the problem.

And you’d make a good gauleiter.

You know how you can assure this never happens again? Don’t break the law. The Notorious G.O.P on May 30, 2014 at 3:52 PM

Uh, that doesn’t guaranty anything genius.

Cops shoot therapy dog during raid on wrong address over expired vehicle registration

I mean, if they killed the dog of the actual owner of the expired tags, we’d all understand that he deserved it, right? At least you would.

Akzed on May 30, 2014 at 4:00 PM

The simple fact is that if the police were drawing substantial fire while performing their little SS strikes, they’d tone things down quite a bit. They do it because it’s an adrenalin rush, and the suffer little blowback.

claudius on May 30, 2014 at 4:00 PM

What’s the threshold for using a flash-bang sight unseen, knowing that anything and anyone could be behind that door?

How’s this for starters?

The suspect wasn’t even there; they picked him up later at another residence.

Maybe, by at least knowing if the person you intend to arrest is home or not.

Cops are mothers and fathers too. They should have the ability to maximize their safety, so they can go home to see their loved ones at the end of the day. It seems like tragedies like this, or the situations where law enforcement raids the wrong home, is the result of having no knowledge of what’s on the other side of the door. Maybe spending some time conducting recon before a raid would help keep law enforcement, and innocent by standers safer.

Would it be to much to expect law enforcement to stake out a location, and make sure that the target of a no knock warrant is actually at the location, before executing it?

HarryBackside on May 30, 2014 at 4:02 PM

These men and women wear a uniform and take an oath to serve and protect, just like the military but it seems that the military gets a huge pass because of the fog of war.

Pickle on May 30, 2014 at 3:59 PM

They serve the public as well as dogs serving fire hydrants. The entire premise of “protect and serve” is flawed: police is supposed to be a long and mighty arm of the court, not a guardian force or a cat-retrieval service.

Rix on May 30, 2014 at 4:03 PM

I’m always amazed by those who believe in laws being enforced seem to attack those are tasked with upholding those laws. These are human beings. If they knew that this toddler was in this drug house, do you really believe they would have tossed this stun grenade into the house? Do you think, when they get back to the station, they cheer the fact that they hurt this toddler? Do you think their bosses slap them on the back and say “great job”? No on all of it. That officer who tossed the stun grenade will be put on desk duty until a full investigation will be completed and in the end, he will will probably lose his job. Someone above said the police have to be right 100% of the time, but that is impossible being a human being. These men and women wear a uniform and take an oath to serve and protect, just like the military but it seems that the military gets a huge pass because of the fog of war. Do you believe that battling drug dealers, crazies with guns, and meth crazed drivers with weapons does not create a fog of war? We have a neighbor who just went through an investigation that was lodged against him by a known drug dealer who said that his rights were violated when he was caught with drugs and they crawled through this man’s life on the word of the drug dealer. But, please, keyboard warriors, fire away.

Pickle on May 30, 2014 at 3:59 PM

Of course not. It doesn’t absolve them of responsibility though. If I’m target shooting without a suitable backstop and my bullet passes through and kills someone behind who I may not have even known was there that’s still manslaughter and I’m still going to jail.

alchemist19 on May 30, 2014 at 4:03 PM

We are all responsible for our actions, even if the result was unintentional and even if we happen to be wearing a badge. In any decently run country if the kid dies it’s at least manslaughter.

alchemist19 on May 30, 2014 at 3:26 PM

Pretty much this. We don’t let drunk drivers who run over and kill someone walk because “Hey, it was just an accident.” The police were the ones who escalated the situation and seem to have displayed negligence.

On top of that, as others have pointed out, they don’t seem to have found any actual drugs inside the house. I’m becoming more skeptical they were even at the right house.

Doomberg on May 30, 2014 at 4:03 PM

Oh, look at all the new LEO experts and haters. They now have a reason to spout off about things they obviously know nothing about.

When you’ve been in a bunch of these situations- let me know. Until then, sit down and shut up.

Most of these cops as husbands and fathers. They carefully plan each raid and conduct it based on the known facts and possibilities. If a small child being present was even within the realm, this would have been done differently- if at all.

M84′s an its variants are effective law enforcement tools whose value has been proven time and again. There use is not taken lightly and they are not in ubiquitous use.

This is a terrible tragedy for which there will be lessons learned for all involved. But the cause of this is someone putting their baby in the midst of a person they had to know was dealing drugs, associating with criminals and at times in the possession of an illegal firearms. Now everybody with a conscience gets to pay for that poor judgment.

Marcus Traianus on May 30, 2014 at 4:03 PM

These are human beings. If they knew that this toddler was in this drug house, do you really believe they would have tossed this stun grenade into the house?

Pickle on May 30, 2014 at 3:59 PM

Their own incompetence isn’t a defense.

sharrukin on May 30, 2014 at 4:03 PM

Let me get this right. Middle of the night – everyone is sleeping

Turtle317 on May 30, 2014 at 3:58 PM

You don’t know much about meth do you?

Lamont Cranston on May 30, 2014 at 4:03 PM

Why not surround the house and call the perp out? Cops can alway call in the “heavy artillery” if no surrender. I think cops that act like domestic cops instead of Navy Seals would be a good thing.

lel2007 on May 30, 2014 at 4:04 PM

Marcus Traianus

Yeah, That kid deserved to have his face blown off. Eff Im…

Kuffar on May 30, 2014 at 4:05 PM

Except for when it did.

Dateline: Billings Montana, 2012

BobMbx on May 30, 2014 at 4:05 PM

I know, all you posters who think the cops were wrong…how about you walking up to a drug dealers home and knocking on the door announcing he is under arrest…within 3 homes, you will be dead.

The police had no idea the child was there, why would a mom have a child in a drug den?

Tragic for the child, but more tragic for the mom and the guilt she should have for hanging out with criminals.

The police have been doing this for years, and the violence has escalated, not by the police, but by the criminals.

You cry about a few of these instances…but how many stand in the street as the procession of a fallen officer passes?

The stats have shown that fewer police officers are killed in the past years, but a higher % from gunfire…overwhelm them immediately.

Monday morning quarterbacking, what the internet is best for…if only they had x-ray vision and knew everything.

Yeah, walk up to a drug dealers “home” in South Central and let’s see you hold their hand and sing kumbyya…how sweet.

Criminals, by their very existence, brings this on to themselves.

And if this kid had inhaled meth, you would all be whining about the police not being there to protect the child…

right2bright on May 30, 2014 at 4:06 PM

You know how you can assure this never happens again? Don’t break the law.

The Notorious G.O.P on May 30, 2014 at 3:52 PM

Whats the law today? Will it be the same tomorrow? Was it legal then but not now? Will they arrest you anyway despite ex post facto laws? Were there really 10 rounds in your magazine instead of the 7 you’re allowed to have or did the police just write the report that way? Or add bullets? Was there really “marijuana shake” on the floor of your car? Did the dog really detect pot during a sniff search around it?

It gets even more fun when it comes to taxes…

oryguncon on May 30, 2014 at 4:07 PM

If a small child being present was even within the realm, this would have been done differently- if at all.

Marcus Traianus on May 30, 2014 at 4:03 PM

It was OBVIOUSLY within the realms of possibility because a child was there.

The target of the raid however WASN’T there.

sharrukin on May 30, 2014 at 4:07 PM

What world are you people living in? These drug houses are a war zone. I blame the whole neighborhood as they know what is going on but do they report the dealers? No, because the police are their enemy and they have brought up that there is nothing worse than a snitch. We just had a girl in Milwaukee get blasted on her playground in the middle of the day when two thugs started shooting at each other across the playground. That sounds to me like it is a war zone. One of the perps had 15 prior arrests and the other had just gotten out of the can from an Unintentional Homicide wrap where he had killed a teenager. The police have never had it tougher and if a future “thug” pays the price of the sins of the fathers…so be it!! And don’t get me started on the DA’s and judges that have gone soft on crime!!

Deano1952 on May 30, 2014 at 4:07 PM

Oh, look at all the new LEO experts and haters. They now have a reason to spout off about things they obviously know nothing about.

When you’ve been in a bunch of these situations- let me know. Until then, sit down and shut up.

Most of these cops as husbands and fathers. They carefully plan each raid and conduct it based on the known facts and possibilities. If a small child being present was even within the realm, this would have been done differently- if at all.

M84′s an its variants are effective law enforcement tools whose value has been proven time and again. There use is not taken lightly and they are not in ubiquitous use.

This is a terrible tragedy for which there will be lessons learned for all involved. But the cause of this is someone putting their baby in the midst of a person they had to know was dealing drugs, associating with criminals and at times in the possession of an illegal firearms. Now everybody with a conscience gets to pay for that poor judgment.

Marcus Traianus on May 30, 2014 at 4:03 PM

You’ll excuse me if I don’t think I have to be in the situation where a grenade is thrown in a child’s playpen to comment on it.

They carefully planned this raid off a tip they got six hours before? It would seem to me they need new, better people in charge of their planning then. Did the cops *know* for sure anyone was in possession of an “illegal firearm”?

alchemist19 on May 30, 2014 at 4:07 PM

When the cops got there and tried to open the door, they felt something blocking it so they tossed in a flash-bang. The obstacle turned out to be … the playpen, with the baby inside.

Why would someone set up a playpen so it blocked a doorway, especially an egress? I always set up any playpen I used in the middle of the floor of the room, such as a living room.

Newtie and the Beauty on May 30, 2014 at 4:07 PM

This is indefensible, but not surprisingly, the cop lovers on this thread are trying to do just that. Ugh.

DisneyFan on May 30, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Ha!…good one, that’s exactly what I wanted a child to die…good grief, the fools are out today.

Thanks for posting, you are —- brilliant!!

right2bright on May 30, 2014 at 12:40 PM

Bears repeating.

Bigbullets on May 30, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Pickle on May 30, 2014 at 3:59 PM

So – the cops did NOT do proper intel gathering on the house, so they did not know who was actually there, and who wasn’t there, and yet they went busting in late at night, injured an innocent kid, and completely failed to get the guy they were after – who wasn’t even there.
And yet, you see nothing wrong with what the cops did?

dentarthurdent on May 30, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Most of these cops as husbands and fathers. They carefully plan each raid and conduct it based on the known facts and possibilities. If a small child being present was even within the realm, this would have been done differently- if at all.

Marcus Traianus on May 30, 2014 at 4:03 PM

As sharrukin and others have pointed out, the suspect wasn’t even in the house when they crashed in. This does not sound to me like an element of a carefully planned and well-executed raid.

Doomberg on May 30, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Look, citizens, some collateral damage is unavoidable and STFU or your baby might be next.

Tard on May 30, 2014 at 4:09 PM

We are all responsible for our actions, even if the result was unintentional and even if we happen to be wearing a badge. In any decently run country if the kid dies it’s at least manslaughter.

alchemist19 on May 30, 2014 at 3:26 PM

No, but if a mom throws a kid out in front of a car, and the car hits the child, the driver gets manslaughter?

You should try to be better at your analogies…and the mom should be responsible for her actions.

The police do not want to hurt a child, and anyone who thinks that, or hints towards that means, is sick…and there has been plenty of “sick” on this subject.

right2bright on May 30, 2014 at 4:10 PM

The police swear they had no idea there was a child in the home, a claim supported by the fact that the baby didn’t actually live there.

Alright, then it’s an unforeseen consequence and not an act of malice. In that case the police acted appropriately and what we have here is a tragic accident.

No flash-bangs, obviously, which means a greater risk for the cops, but would you rather have cops take the extra risk or a 19-month-old who’s asleep in his crib?

If they knew, then yes, they should take a greater risk upon themselves. Police have to take into account the risk to innocent bystanders and adapt accordingly.

Stoic Patriot on May 30, 2014 at 4:10 PM

Conservative blog examines the end point of their decades long resistance to police reform, their longterm support for police’s ability to lie/entrap/injure suspects, their advocacy for larger and more militarized police forces since the 1968 “law and order” Nixon campaign and Reagan’s massive expansion in the WOD and claim to have no idea where out of control police came from. You cheered when the police raided and murdered Fred Hampton in his bed, you screamed in joy when prisoners at Attics were mowed down by state authorities, you suggested any restriction of police power made the rest of us “unsafe” and you VOTED for people who advocated for a more powerful police state and yet these days you act confused when these things happen to a child?

libfreeordie on May 30, 2014 at 4:11 PM

I blame the cops for this incident. Even if they had a no-knock warrant, they could have surrounded the house (blocked all exits), then announced over a bullhorn to the “suspects” that the house was surrounded by police, and to come out, hands up, and unarmed. If there was no response, they could have tried kicking the door in, with guns trained on it in case the suspect appeared. A toddler’s crib might weigh 40 pounds max, or about 60 pounds with the kid inside, so kicking the door in would probably slide it a foot or two, causing the toddler to wake up and cry. The cops would have then known not to shoot or harm the toddler, who might also be a hostage if the suspect had been inside.

Steve Z on May 30, 2014 at 4:11 PM

May if a future “thug” pays the price of the sins of the fathers…so be it!!

Deano1952 on May 30, 2014 at 4:07 PM

This is one of the worst things I’ve ever read on HA. I certainly hope you don’t work for law enforcement.

DisneyFan on May 30, 2014 at 4:11 PM

Way back when cops didn’t imagine themselves as Warriors among mere civilians, police would wait until the suspect was outside walking between his house and car or In a parking lot to reduce the chances of starting a fortified gunfight.

I recall those days, a lot fewer people got shot by the po po back then.

Tard on May 30, 2014 at 4:12 PM

They knew they were raiding a place where meth was sold. It would not be all that unlikely for it to be a place where the meth was MADE. They know that meth labs are highly explosive. And yet, they toss in a flashbang grenade just because the door is blocked???Did they maybe think they could take care of the whole problem at once, without having to mess with a trial? Just have an “accidental” explosion and it’s all done!
Gesundheit on May 30, 2014 at 3:58 PM

This

Indefensible. The police have been emboldened with too much power — and too little sense of “protect and serve” — and it will not end well. I am a middle aged, employed, tax-paying, fully law-abiding citizen, and when I see a cop I cringe. I just assume he/she is looking to pounce on me for anything at all. I see them as a malevolent enemy. I really do. How sad is that, in this country? And I know I’m not alone.
Rational Thought on May 30, 2014 at 3:56 PM

And This

I’m tired of the para-military police. It certainly wasn’t what the founding fathers envisioned. If there is any suspicion by LEOs, they must have a warrant and serve it to the owner before entering. That the occupant might flush evidence is immaterial since we are all presumed innocent until proven guilty. If they can’t prove it without violating our rights, too bad. Period.

AH_C on May 30, 2014 at 4:12 PM

No, but if a mom throws a kid out in front of a car, and the car hits the child, the driver gets manslaughter?

You should try to be better at your analogies…and the mom should be responsible for her actions.

The police do not want to hurt a child, and anyone who thinks that, or hints towards that means, is sick…and there has been plenty of “sick” on this subject.

right2bright on May 30, 2014 at 4:10 PM

Did the mom throw the child at the grenade?

alchemist19 on May 30, 2014 at 4:12 PM

The parents can scream and cry all they want, but they should have known better than to move their children into a drug den.

JoseQuinones on May 30, 2014 at 3:29 PM

The parents, who were from another state, were guests in the home, where they were staying after their own home burned. There is nothing in any of the stories to indicate this was a “drug den.” An informant allegedly purchased meth from the suspect at the home several days earlier. This was a one-time purchase as far as I can tell. At the time the raid occurred, the suspect was not there and there is no indication that police found any drugs anywhere on the premises. Unless you have some evidence that the family knew of drug activity at the house, you have no justification for blaming this on them rather than the police.

cam2 on May 30, 2014 at 4:13 PM

Yeah, That kid deserved to have his face blown off.

Kuffar on May 30, 2014 at 4:05 PM

That’s what he get for being there.

Collateral damage, right guys?

Bigbullets on May 30, 2014 at 4:14 PM

As sharrukin and others have pointed out, the suspect wasn’t even in the house when they crashed in. This does not sound to me like an element of a carefully planned and well-executed raid.

Doomberg on May 30, 2014 at 4:08 PM

They made a drug buy, they had guards at the doors, the drug dealer had a rap sheet, had violation of arms, so they knew he could be armed and dangerous, and it was his house.

Now they could have walked up and asked for an autograph…it is not easy to surveillance without being spotted, but it is sure easy to type a few words on a computer and tell people how much better you would have done…

right2bright on May 30, 2014 at 4:14 PM

No, but if a mom throws a kid out in front of a car, and the car hits the child, the driver gets manslaughter?

You should try to be better at your analogies…and the mom should be responsible for her actions.

The police do not want to hurt a child, and anyone who thinks that, or hints towards that means, is sick…and there has been plenty of “sick” on this subject.

right2bright on May 30, 2014 at 4:10 PM

Why can’t you show one ounce of sympathy for the child?

Why is so difficult for you say you don’t want children to die in police raids?

Bigbullets on May 30, 2014 at 4:15 PM

A toddler’s crib might weigh 40 pounds max, or about 60 pounds with the kid inside, so kicking the door in would probably slide it a foot or two, causing the toddler to wake up and cry. The cops would have then known not to shoot or harm the toddler, who might also be a hostage if the suspect had been inside.

Steve Z on May 30, 2014 at 4:11 PM

This is the cognitive dissonance on display for Republican or conservative identified people who lived through the insanity of anti-crime hysteria during the 70s and 80s. They can’t quite accept that they contributed to the overwhelming empowerment of the police, so in this instance they have to find a way where “no-knock” warrants are OK if they are just administered correctly. Ha! What if it was a teen? Or younger, but not a toddler? They may have been scared and quiet making it likely that an innocent would still have been severely injured, or even killed. But, given how little attention HotAir and the conservative media pays to police violence outside of these extreme cases, i.e. when anyone but a cute baby is hurt, it’s hard to really take any rightwing outrage about this incident seriously.

libfreeordie on May 30, 2014 at 4:16 PM

Yup. Sending an over-armed and under-trained person with their adrenaline up into any situation is asking for disaster. And here’s just one serving of the disaster we asked for.

alchemist19 on May 30, 2014 at 3:59 PM

One of my nephews is highly placed in the NYPD, been a cop since the late 70s. If something like this had happened to him back in the day when he went out on calls, I have no doubt he would have resigned in disgrace.

whatcat on May 30, 2014 at 4:16 PM

Enjoy! You guys are agreeing with alchemist19 and Libfreeordie on this particular subject. Makes you kind of sick, doesn’t it? Like you need a shower? I’m with katy the mean old lady, if you need help, call a drug dealer. And, make sure to pony up when these parents sue everyone they can. Maybe they can afford to live with someone who isn’t a meth dealer.

Pickle on May 30, 2014 at 4:16 PM

Did the mom throw the child at the grenade?

alchemist19 on May 30, 2014 at 4:12 PM

I was pointing out what a stupid analogy he was making, anyone can just make anything up.

The police threw the flash into a drug dealers house…that is what happened.

It wasn’t “manslaughter”…it was a tragic accident, brought on by many factors…one, the most important, what was a mom doing with a child in a drug dealers house? Did she think that was safe?

Do you think if the police knew there was a child they would have tossed that into his crib?

right2bright on May 30, 2014 at 4:18 PM

Marcus Traianus on May 30, 2014 at 4:03 PM

I don’t think that excuse would work for me in a court of law.

Are there two courts of law?

Of course,, I can’t own grenades in the first place..

And don’t tell me to shut up,, jackwad. How do I know what my nieghbor might have done and the wrong house they go to might be mine.

wolly4321 on May 30, 2014 at 4:18 PM

If I fire a weapon, I’m responsible for the bullet that exits the barrel. Why can’t law enforcement be held to the exact same standard? If you throw a stun grenade or fire blindly into a house, you should be held legally liable for any “collateral damage”.

Wendya on May 30, 2014 at 4:19 PM

Don’t forget, even if he lives he’ll likely be deaf.
You know, besides the disfigurement.

HEY, WERE DRUGS ACTUALLY FOUND?!
If so, they’d be on brightly lit display right now, because justification is needed here, unless we’ve really fallen into the $hitpit as a country.

No drugs? How about guns, any guns?

Uh, ok, how about illegal fireworks?

Spray paint? Ah Ha! They were HUFFING!
Death to the babies for huffing!

Tard on May 30, 2014 at 4:19 PM

libfreeordie on May 30, 2014 at 4:16 PM

Is it always a political thing for you? Or am I missing something here. So, this is all the fault of those nasty racial people with an “R” on their voting card?

I see you don’t get it.

Turtle317 on May 30, 2014 at 4:19 PM

Marcus Traianus on May 30, 2014 at 4:03 PM

First – GFY. I don’t have to be a retired cop to comment on a poorly executed police operaton, just like I don’t have to be a Supreme Court Justice to comment on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

The facts of this case clearly show the police did a lousy job on this case. They didn’t know who was in the house, they didn’t know that the suspect they were after was NOT in the house, and yet they went busting in late at night anyway.

How many cases of the cops busting into the wrong house and wounding or killing innocent people do we need to post for you to get a clue that the cops do NOT always do their job correctly – and innocent people die as a result?
That is unacceptable according to our Constitution.

dentarthurdent on May 30, 2014 at 4:19 PM

Now they could have walked up and asked for an autograph…
right2bright on May 30, 2014 at 4:14 PM

They wouldn’t have had much luck since the guy wasn’t even there.

whatcat on May 30, 2014 at 4:20 PM

*WOW* Bacvk yourself into that hole, right2bright…so now a 19 mo.. TODDLER is a “drug dealer” & in fact NO ONE at the house was arrested for possession or distribution… where were these drug dealers again?

It’s not “h8te” to ask the question about No Knocks & Stun Grenades for minor crime….

If this happened in Brentwood, but well that’s the point isn’t it? IT WOLDN’T HAVE HAPPENED IN BRENTWOOD…. but some Hmong or Thai immigrants, yeah we’ll turn up in full assault mode…

JFKY on May 30, 2014 at 4:20 PM

Have they already lied as part of their damage control? IIRC, they said “we” made the buy and scouted the inside of the home. IIRC, they also said “they [the confidential informant]” made the buy and scouted the inside of the home. Why the discrepancy?

Which is it?

Christien on May 30, 2014 at 4:20 PM

men and women wear a uniform and take an oath to serve and protect, just like the military but it seems that the military gets a huge pass because of the fog of war. Do you believe that battling drug dealers, crazies with guns, and meth crazed drivers with weapons does not create a fog of war?
Pickle on May 30, 2014 at 3:59 PM

Police are not military. They are civilians. Police are not at war.
The military oath by the way is not to serve and protect, it is to support and defend.

FOD on May 30, 2014 at 4:20 PM

Yeah, That kid deserved to have his face blown off.

Kuffar on May 30, 2014 at 4:05 PM

That’s what he get for being there.

Collateral damage, right guys?

Bigbullets on May 30, 2014 at 4:14 PM

The sad part is that since 9/11 you all made those exact arguments about children in Iraq and Afghanistan and, implicitly, Democrats have made the same arguments about children’s caught in drone strikes under Obama. Is the idea that only American children are innocent? And yet you wonder how we got to a place where American police are throwing grenades into citizen’s homes without much of a second thought…

libfreeordie on May 30, 2014 at 4:20 PM

My impression is tragic accident, but not negligence. If they had no reason to suspect there was a toddler, let alone being next to the door (why would someone even put him there?), and they’re at the house of a drug dealer who is armed, they would need to do what they could to protect themselves. It could have been something else placed to jam the door so that the dealer was awoken in time while the cops dealt with it, just to give him enough time to arm himself and open fire. Hence, the flashbang to disorient him while they worked their way inside.

I’m no more pro-”military” cops than most here, but in this case, again, accident.

RblDiver on May 30, 2014 at 4:21 PM

What is painfully obvious here is the ignorance many people have of the drug business. The entire day’s inventory of meth for a drug house could fit in a shoe. Usually only underlings are even in the house. The drug house I am most familiar with was staked out for three days before it was raided. The only reason I know this is because the cops used my living room to stake it out. They would come in through the back yard and climbed a fence to get there. And they didn’t have the manpower, or budget, to watch 24 hours a day. Even though the big guy wasn’t in the house, they still had to raid it for evidence to get the big guy. Or he will get off scott free and maybe set up his next drug house next door to you.

How many of y’all have been part of a raid? It was scary just having a front row seat for one.

This ain’t a cop show on TV where everything is discovered right away and wrapped up before the final commercial.

cozmo on May 30, 2014 at 4:21 PM

You guys didn’t actually read the story or warrant- did you?

There were a number of informants and sources used to verify the information. That’s before the actual surveillance.

The lowlife perp was arrested on weapons charges.

A large degree of raids proceed on much less information than this. A judge reviewing that warrant will also base his approval on facts.

But keep going with those pathos arguments to try and outrun logic and facts.

Marcus Traianus on May 30, 2014 at 4:21 PM

I’m with katy the mean old lady, if you need help, call a drug dealer. And, make sure to pony up when these parents sue everyone they can. Maybe they can afford to live with someone who isn’t a meth dealer.

Pickle on May 30, 2014 at 4:16 PM

I am with the majorioty of the citizens of the US who think that they should be safe from the Baaney Fifes with machine guns performing zero dark thirty raids becuase they want to try out their new toys. I don’t suppose “innocent until proven guitly” means much to you. After all the COPS are always in the right. If you or a 19 mobnth old child becomes “collateral damage” they probably had it coming. RIGHT?

Kuffar on May 30, 2014 at 4:22 PM

HEY, WERE THERE ANY DRUGS FOUND?!

no

Tard on May 30, 2014 at 4:23 PM

RblDiver, “accident” OK, it’s was NEGLIGENCE… you can go to jail for ACCIDENTALLY crippling someone, not just INTENTIONALLY causing them harm..

JFKY on May 30, 2014 at 4:23 PM

…as far as I can tell.
cam2 on May 30, 2014 at 4:13 PM

Seems to be a lot of that going on here.

Don’t y’all even care about the whole story?

cozmo on May 30, 2014 at 4:23 PM

Police are not military. They are civilians. Police are not at war.

Ronald Reagan disagreed.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1010/43552.html

libfreeordie on May 30, 2014 at 4:23 PM

HEY, WERE THERE ANY GUNS FOUND?!

no

Tard on May 30, 2014 at 4:23 PM

if you need help, call a drug dealer. And, make sure to pony up when these parents sue everyone they can. Maybe they can afford to live with someone who isn’t a meth dealer.

Pickle on May 30, 2014 at 4:16 PM

If I need help, I would rather call the guy called Sig Sauer. Unlike our overfed suburban pigs, he is always seconds away when seconds count. And I do hope the parents sue the last underpants off that particular pig, but the chances are slim – Blue Wall of Silence and union funds will get him off scot free.

Rix on May 30, 2014 at 4:24 PM

Why don’t you post the pic of what the kid looks like now, AP? So all the Drug Warriors can look into the face of their new mascot.

CTD on May 30, 2014 at 4:24 PM

Police are civilians.

Tard on May 30, 2014 at 4:24 PM

Lift the strict liability when conducting a no knock raid. Then the police can assess in real time how much they have to fear for their life vs how much do they have to fear for being held liable for what they do. It is a fine balancing act. Not one to be second guessed. But if they are immunized from liability for their actions, then the thumb will always come down on “more force” side of the scale.

yetanotherjohn on May 30, 2014 at 4:24 PM

DisneyFan on May 30, 2014 at 4:11 PM

I’m not proud of it either, but it what we see constantly. I’m sorry this reality offends you.

Deano1952 on May 30, 2014 at 4:24 PM

So whatever happened to the old “We’ve got you surrounded.. come out with your hands up” routine?

If they can sneak up to this house in the middle of the night.. could they not have easily surrounded the house? Throw on some spotlights and demand they all come out?

Yeah.. that’s not as flashy as running in with m-16′s but it can’t be any more dangerous.

JellyToast on May 30, 2014 at 4:25 PM

The police were the ones who escalated the situation and seem to have displayed negligence.

Doomberg on May 30, 2014 at 4:03 PM

This. This is the key. If the homeowner had been home and fired a couple of rounds, or they had conducted a pretty safe and calm raid that suddenly went bad, then it would be different. The key word is “negligence”. They didn’t even do surveillance to ensure the guy was home (or relied on the informant’s word). They hadn’t done enough surveillance to even know this woman and child were staying there. They had no idea of the obstacles in the home, apparently (at least – not after the woman and child moved in… because they didn’t know they were there).

I’ve taken heat here on HA before for being a defender of our LEOs. I can’t even remotely defend this. This was negligence, pure and simple. The officers involved – the grenadier, as well as the tactical on-site lead, the one(s) who planned the op, and the guy who signed off on it – need to all be fired and some of them should be subject to civil proceedings, at least.

This sort of thing is why it’s hard to defend LEOs when they beat down a bad guy who actually needed to be beaten down.

GWB on May 30, 2014 at 4:25 PM

4th amendment, per wiki:

Text

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

It doesn’t say if you DO have a warrant then you can throw explosives into the house.

LashRambo on May 30, 2014 at 4:25 PM

If it had been Afghanistan, and he were a member of the Army who did this to a little Afghan kid, he’d probably go to Leavenworth for awhile, and his command would be excoriated.

Since he’s a cop, I’m guessing some admin leave and retraining.

Sgt Steve on May 30, 2014 at 3:36 PM

.
This comment best covers how FUBAR’d things are with this country.

A soldier in a war zone is held to a higher standard than the police are in any city in this country.

High points:

1) Throwing a flash bang into a house KNOWN to be selling meth is reckless endangerment of his fellow officers by the moron who tossed it in. Lots of meth dealers are now doing “home brew” approaches that are even more unstable than the labs people used to use for being a meth “cook” full time.

2) The “no knock” warrants are completely out of control. LEO deaths in the line of duty are down dramatically, which would be good news EXCEPT the innocent bystander death and injury rates have skyrocketed as police departments have stooped to the level of third world paramilitary operations where “officer safety” is treated as a trump card over proper procedures, training, CONTROL and public safety.

3) For the “shit happens” morons, reckless cops ALWAYS end up costing you money as the DAMAGES are ALWAYS paid out of your tax dollars. And since this looks to be a non-caucasian toddler – Holder et al could always open a civil rights investigation and use it to BURN the current officers, including many good ones, and the police department down to the ground, figuratively speaking.

4) The number of SWAT teams in this country went from 3,000 in 2001 to over 50,000 as of 2012 – there is no better fact demonstrating how out of control the militarization of the police has become in the last decade.

PolAgnostic on May 30, 2014 at 4:25 PM

Of course not. It doesn’t absolve them of responsibility though. If I’m target shooting without a suitable backstop and my bullet passes through and kills someone behind who I may not have even known was there that’s still manslaughter and I’m still going to jail.

alchemist19 on May 30, 2014 at 4:03 PM

That’s not a good analogy. In this case, the target was violating several laws and the police had some grounds to think the target might shoot back

jim56 on May 30, 2014 at 4:25 PM

Most of these cops as husbands and fathers. They carefully plan each raid and conduct it based on the known facts and possibilities. If a small child being present was even within the realm, this would have been done differently- if at all.

Marcus Traianus on May 30, 2014 at 4:03 PM

A carefully planned raid would have involved knowing if the person they wanted to arrest was even in the home. If raids were carefully planned, we wouldn’t read so many stories where law enforcement raided the wrong home.

HarryBackside on May 30, 2014 at 4:25 PM

Marcus arrested AT ANOTHER HOUSE…” Weapons charges” not drugs????

Cozmo, so you’re saying the cops had NO WAY OF KNOWING what they would find in the house they raided, after all it fits into a shoe box… so they could have kicked in the door & gotten squat, eh? Well then mayhap this wasn’t the most productive approach to dealing with the “problem.”

JFKY on May 30, 2014 at 4:25 PM

After all the COPS are always in the right. If you or a 19 mobnth old child becomes “collateral damage” they probably had it coming. RIGHT?

Kuffar on May 30, 2014 at 4:22 PM

Again, didn’t you make the exact same argument when confronted with evidence that our military actions result in juvenile casualties. I believe the argument that conservatives used under Bush was that we couldn’t be blamed for child casualties because the cowardly terrorists would shield behind them. I do wish you folks could exercise some intellectual consistency.

libfreeordie on May 30, 2014 at 4:25 PM

Which is it?

Christien on May 30, 2014 at 4:20 PM

Ignorant reporter?

cozmo on May 30, 2014 at 4:26 PM

Just wait, this could be your house next.

I blame both sides on this. Parents for having a child in that situation, and the cops for poor Intel. You would think you would have a good grasp on what your facing when you do something like this.

watertown on May 30, 2014 at 4:26 PM

If the police had surrounded the house and instructed those inside to come out with their hands up, no one would have been harmed.

The safety of even the accused is more important than the safety of the government officers.

ConstantineXI on May 30, 2014 at 3:33 PM

Wow! That’s some grade A 20/20 hindsight you’ve got going there. You must be so very proud! Congratulations!

JannyMae on May 30, 2014 at 4:26 PM

If they had no reason to suspect there was a toddler,

They had no reason to suspect ANYTHING because they had no good information about the house at all.

let alone being next to the door (why would someone even put him there?),

RblDiver on May 30, 2014 at 4:21 PM

It was a garage remade into a bedroom for the family that lost their house due to a fire.

sharrukin on May 30, 2014 at 4:27 PM

It just seems like our troops have tougher rules of engagement than the cops do.

JellyToast on May 30, 2014 at 3:52 PM

FIFY

Since it’s NOT a war zone, and there was no incoming fire, it seems as tho a few simple rules should be observed:

1. Don’t fire if you don’t ID your target

2. Don’t throw a grenade if you don’t ID your target

Absent a firefight, there is NO, NONE, ZERO, NADA,– absolutely Zilch–NO EXCUSE for this.

questionmark on May 30, 2014 at 4:27 PM

Conservative blog examines the end point of their decades long resistance to police reform, their longterm support for police’s ability to lie/entrap/injure suspects, their advocacy for larger and more militarized police forces since the 1968 “law and order” Nixon campaign and Reagan’s massive expansion in the WOD and claim to have no idea where out of control police came from. You cheered when the police raided and murdered Fred Hampton in his bed, you screamed in joy when prisoners at Attics were mowed down by state authorities, you suggested any restriction of police power made the rest of us “unsafe” and you VOTED for people who advocated for a more powerful police state and yet these days you act confused when these things happen to a child?

libfreeordie on May 30, 2014 at 4:11 PM

You and your knee-jerk assumptions that the police are always wrong and the criminals are always innocent is a big part of the problem.

You don’t care what the facts are. If anyone speaks up for the police, who have a dangerous job already, you just fling feces at them and act self-righteous about it.

In the real world, there are dangerous criminals out there, and there are innocents. It’s not easy to catch the criminals while not harrassing the innocent, but that is the task that the police have to do. And if they didn’t, you’d be one of those whining about how the police are doing nothing about cleaning up high-crime areas.

I think the real discussion here is whether no-knock warrants are a valid tool for the police, or whether the risk of harm to innocents is too great. I think no-knock warrants are pretty much a disaster that opens the door to innocent people occasionally getting hurt or injured by the police doing their jobs, but there’s no denying that banning no-knock warrants makes the jobs of the police potentially more dangerous. I just don’t think they’re worth it.

There Goes the Neighborhood on May 30, 2014 at 4:27 PM

What I want to know is, how would they have approached this if they did have reason to believe a child was there?

The same way, because they don’t care. Gotta break some eggs to make that drug war omelet, amirite?

CTD on May 30, 2014 at 4:27 PM

Yeah.. that’s not as flashy as running in with m-16′s but it can’t be any more dangerous.

JellyToast on May 30, 2014 at 4:25 PM

Actually, with a real, armed drug dealer, that would be far more dangerous. You are encouraging a shootout in that instance. (Read your Sun Tzu about not backing your opponent into a corner.)

GWB on May 30, 2014 at 4:27 PM

They serve the public as well as dogs serving fire hydrants. The entire premise of “protect and serve” is flawed: police is supposed to be a long and mighty arm of the court, not a guardian force or a cat-retrieval service.

Rix on May 30, 2014 at 4:03 PM

Per SCOTUS police officers do not have a Constitutional duty to “protect” “Protect & Serve” is a cute slogan made up by LAPD. Sad to see a child injured critically. No one wants that and mistakes happen. I hope a full investigation is done. Their needs to be full sunshine on this incident. Only then can people really make their opinions known. Until then all can express their opinion with the full understanding they could be completely wrong because of their ignorance on what happened in this incident. The full story isn’t out there yet. Keep that in mind before you decide to name call.

I’ve seen both sides of this issue. I lived it also. Now that I’m retired I truly wish all drug laws get rescinded. The drug war has been lost. There have been so many victims on each side. Some deserved their fate, many did not. I was proud of my service. However, now days I read so many actions by officers that literally makes me see red.

I truly hope the child fully recovers. If someone violated policy I hope they get punished fully. Administratively & legally if appropriate.

Conservative4Ever on May 30, 2014 at 4:27 PM

Why don’t you post the pic of what the kid looks like now, AP? So all the Drug Warriors can look into the face of their new mascot.

CTD on May 30, 2014 at 4:24 PM

AP linked to it at at least two places. If’n you’re that curious, click on the links for yourself.

Newtie and the Beauty on May 30, 2014 at 4:28 PM

. So, this is all the fault of those nasty racial people with an “R” on their voting card?

I see you don’t get it.

Turtle317 on May 30, 2014 at 4:19 PM

And the cowardly D’s who weren’t willing to stand up to Republican anti-crime fear mongering in those years. But the judges who ruled in favor of abusive police practices are most often self-identified “originalists” (see Thomas and Scalia’s record on reigning in police power) and the Nixon and Reagan presidencies were hugely influential in selling the American people on the idea that the police were the only ones protecting them from “the criminal.” Well congrats, you won, the police have all the power they need and more to “protect us” from “the criminal.”

libfreeordie on May 30, 2014 at 4:29 PM

Aren’t cops supposed to be the good guys?

What separates this bunch from the drug dealers that are the subject of the post?

A badge.

BobMbx on May 30, 2014 at 4:29 PM

PolAgnostic on May 30, 2014 at 4:25 PM

EXCELLENT post. Point well made!

Turtle317 on May 30, 2014 at 4:29 PM

AP linked to it at at least two places. If’n you’re that curious, click on the links for yourself.

Newtie and the Beauty on May 30, 2014 at 4:28 PM

I mean on the front page, so all the resident HA drug warriors don’t have a choice.

CTD on May 30, 2014 at 4:30 PM

it was a tragic accident

right2bright on May 30, 2014 at 4:18 PM

Except it wasn’t an accident. A police officer deliberately tossed a stun grenade into a dark room with absolutely no idea where it would land, what would happen or who was in the room.

Wendya on May 30, 2014 at 4:31 PM

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