Readers will remember the tragic case of 19-month-old Bounkham “Bou Bou” Phonesavanh, who was critically injured in 2014 when a SWAT team tossed a flash-bang device into his crib. I wrote about it at the time, and in a follow-up article six months later.
Now comes news that financial recompense will be made, even though the guilty parties have not been (and probably will not be) punished.
A federal judge has approved settlements totaling $3.6 million to the parents of a toddler who was severely injured when a flash grenade detonated in his playpen during a raid.
The settlements were announced Friday by Mawuli Mel Davis, attorney for Alecia and Bounkham Phonesavanh.
. . .
“We have worked diligently with our co-counsel to obtain the best possible result for Baby Bou Bou and his family,” Davis said in a statement. “What we achieved will not fix what happened or take away the nightmares, but we hope it helps them move forward as a family.”
. . .
“Since no one will be held criminally liable, the monetary victories will have to be used as a way to somewhat offset this unfortunate preventable tragedy,” said Marcus Coleman, activist and president of the Save OurSelves Organization. “Considering that this family was still held responsible for the medical bills is itself a travesty.”
There’s more at the link.
It’s sad to think that up to 40% of the settlement is likely to be absorbed by legal fees, leaving a lot less to pay for the child’s medical expenses. I hope it’ll be enough, although it can never compensate for or fully resolve the mental and emotional trauma caused to him and his parents.
Only one officer faced charges as a result of this incident, and she was acquitted. None of those who planned, authorized or supervised the raid has faced charges – which I find utterly inexplicable and a travesty of justice. I continue to believe that every single person involved, from the top to the bottom, needs to be fired, and permanently disbarred from ever working in a law enforcement function or capacity again.
That applies particularly to Haversham County Sheriff Joey Terrell, who infamously stated, “Our team went by the book. Given the same scenario, we’ll do the same thing again. I stand behind what our team did.” That being the case, I can only suggest that parents keep their toddlers out of Haversham County, for fear that Sheriff Terrell and those who follow his leadership and example might come across them . . .