Family asks for federal probe into police who injured son - CBS46 News

Family asks for federal probe into police who injured son

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A crowd of activists and concerned citizens sang and prayed for Bounkham Phonesavahn in front of Grady Hospital on Monday while tears streamed down the face of his big sister, who clung to her mother's arm.

"This child is fighting for his life," said Marcus Coleman, a civil rights activist.

The 19-month-old is in critical condition after he was hurt during a drug raid in Habersham County last week. Authorities said a member of a SWAT Team threw a flash-bang grenade inside the suspected drug house when they couldn't get inside, and the grenade landed in the child's playpen. Authorities said they had been watching the home, but did not know any children were inside.

"If you did any type of surveillance, accurate surveillance, it would have turned up this family. It had been in that home for a little under two months," said Coleman.

"The place where the crib was was next to their bed. Common sense would tell us a mother who had a 19-month-old would not put her child six feet away from their bed against a door. That is absurd, but that is what the sheriff would have you believe," said attorney Mawuli Mel Davis.

Authorities said prior to the raid, an informant bought drugs from the home's occupant, Wanis Thonetheva. Thonetheva was out on bond on previous drug charges, but he was not home during the raid.

"This is a family that was visiting. They were not arrested, they were not drug dealers or users," said Davis.

The protestors said they want justice and State Sen.  Vincent Fort said he wants federal investigators to get involved.

"I will be delivering a letter to the U.S. Attorney, Sally Yates, tomorrow asking her to conduct a simultaneous investigation in to what happened to this child," Fort said.

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