Georgia SWAT team burns baby

The militarization of policing must end.

Georgia police threw a stun grenade in a 19-month-old's crib (Vox)

A SWAT team raiding a home in Habersham County, Georgia at around 3 am Thursday, May 29th, threw a stun grenade into the crib of an 19-month-old toddler, Bounkham Phonesavanh, critically injuring him. His mother, Alecia Phonesavanh, told the Atlanta ABC affiliate WSB-TV that the grenade exploded on Bounkham's pillow, right next to his face. "He's in the burn unit. We go up to see him and his whole face is ripped open. He has a big cut on his chest," she continued....

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We don't know all the facts of the case yet, but they fit with a growing trend of police using SWAT teams and military tactics for cases that never would have warranted that treatment before. Eastern Kentucky University's Peter Kraska estimated that there were about 3,000 SWAT raids a year in the early 1980s, 30,000 by 1996, and 40,000 by 2001.

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...A SWAT team raided a DJ in Atlanta on suspicion of copyright violations. A Gibson Guitar factory in Tennessee was raided with a SWAT team on suspicion that they weren't the wood they imported for their guitars wasn't treated properly. Plenty of innocent people, from 80-year-old Isaac Singletary to 11-year-old Alberto Sepulveda to 88-year-old Kathryn Johnston, have been killed in SWAT raids. "In drug raids," Balko writes, "killing the dogs in the targeted house is almost perfunctory."

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