No Knock Warrants
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Posted 6/4/14
A week ago today, the police of the county in Georgia were I live (Habersham County) performed a no-knock warrant with their own SWAT team on a house where a CI (Confidential Informant) had the day before purchased $50 worth of meth from a known drug dealer (Wanis Thonetheva). Mr. Thonetheva had been previously arrested for selling drugs and was out on bail. The CI to supposedly told the police that he had entered the home and saw no children there and that there were no evidence of any children living there.

On the night of the raid (at 3AM) the police burst the door open and threw a flashbang grenade into the room. The grenade landed into the playpen where 19 month old Bou Bou Phonesavanh and exploded, ripping into his chest, destroying a lung and giving him third and fourth degree burns on his face and chest. The baby was then rushed 75 miles away to Grady Hospital.

It turns out the Phonesavanhs had moved down to Georgia a month before from Wisconsin (their home had burned down and they moved to Georgia to temporarily live with Mr. Phonesavanhs sister). They had been living in that house for four weeks with their four children.

To obtain the no-knock warrant, the police had to tell the judge that the police would have to either be at serious risk of harm or the evidence would be destroyed. They told the judge that Mr. Thonetheva had claimed to have an AK47.

When the SWAT team attacked the house and rounded everyone up, the only people they found was Mr. Phonesavanhs immediate family (him, his wife, and his four children), his sister, and mother. Mr. Thonetheva was not there. Also, there were no drugs found, no weapons found, and no cash found. And Bou Bou Phonesavanh is down at Grady Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia fighting for his life.

The police (Sheriff Joey Terrell) claims that they had no way of knowing that there were children in the house and that Mr. Thonetheva was not there. He admits that the SWAT team obtained the warrant solely on the word of a CI (who's motivation was to help them arrest others so that his prior drug arrest would be reduced) and that the CI claimed there were no children there. The police did no surveillance of there own, at all. As they crept up on the house, they missed the mini-van sitting in the driveway with four carseats in it. If they had done their own surveillance during the 'drug buy' and maintained surveillance up to the warrant being served, they'd have seen the children playing in the yard and that Mr. Thonetheva was not there.

This is not the first time Sheriff Terrell's SWAT team has caused harm to innocents. In 2009, his SWAT team shot and killed a preacher in Toccoa, Georgia. In February 2013, a jury awarded the preacher's widow (Mrs. Ayers) a 2.3 million damage wrongful death judgement against the County.

You may ask why does a rural mountain county have a SWAT team? It's because they get federal money to pay the salaries of the SWAT team commanders and they get to keep all the money and cars and guns and anything else of value that they can confiscate during the raid. They also get to buy full body armor, anti-mine vehicles, boxes of flashbang grenades, high-powered and rapid-fire weapons, and they get to dress in black with mask over their faces and attack the drug dealing bad guys (Sheriff Terrell calls the terrorists) with their new toys.

I am so disgusted with the police in my county who have a history of misusing their authority, and now that they have all this high-tech weaponry, they can harm or kill innocents in greater numbers. As a side note, back in 2002, my county lost a lawsuit to 16 people who sued because the Sheriff of that time forced them to have full body cavity searches as 'punishment' for questioning his authority.

One idiot Sheriff leaves, and another one just like him takes his place.
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30 / M / Central KY.
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Posted 6/4/14
That's simply terrible...
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