This has to end somewhere, how bad is it going to get America?


FRIDAY, OCT 10, 2014 08:59 AM PDT
“It breaks my heart”: How a SWAT team upended my baby’s life — and got away with it
A SWAT team blew a hole in my 2-year-old’s chest — and just got off scot-free. But here’s why it gets even worse

My son will be 2 years old next week. He’s recovering from a total of eight surgeries, one of which was to reattach his nose to his face.

For those who don’t know, it’s been over five months since the night a SWAT team broke into the house in which we were staying. It was the middle of the night, and even though our minivan with car seats inside was parked in the driveway and our children’s toys were in the yard, the SWAT officers claimed they had no way of knowing there were kids inside. We were staying with relatives and my whole family was sleeping in one room. My husband and I, our three daughters and our baby (nicknamed “Baby Bou Bou”) in his crib.

Dressed like soldiers, they broke down the door. The SWAT officers tossed a flashbang grenade into the room. It landed in Baby Bou Bou’s crib, blowing a hole in his face and chest that took months to heal and covering his entire body with scars.

On Monday, we were devastated and heartbroken by the grand jury’s decision to not charge any of the officers involved in injuring our son. I relive that night every time I hold my son, see my daughters afraid and watch my husband in pain. Bou Bou will be 2 years old next week, and my gift to him will be my continued commitment to demand justice for what was done to him. We will not give up, we will not remain silent – we will continue to fight.

Bou Bou’s birthday is October 14. We are very happy we can celebrate with him — after the raid, we weren’t sure if he would make it. But our joy and relief he is alive can’t take away any of the psychological damage done by that raid. We’ve been trying to find a new normal ever since. But it’s been hard.

First Bou Bou was in intensive care and we spent all our time at the hospital, not knowing whether he would live. He came out of the medically induced coma only to be subjected to surgery after surgery. My tiny son has had eight operations in the last five months. In the most recent one, surgeons opened up his chest to scrape away all the scar tissue that was attached to the bone and reopened his face to reattach his nose. And it’s far from over. Doctors tell us that my son will have to have double reconstructive surgeries twice a year, every year for the next 20 years.

He’s not even 2. No child should have to endure what he’s going through. This shouldn’t have to be his new normal.

The SWAT officers were searching for a relative who did not live in the home where we were staying. They suspected he might have some drugs, and for that reason alone, they raided the house, armed for war. They never found what they were looking for. But they crippled my family.

Not only did they blow up my son, but they also violently threw my husband to the floor. His shoulder is still so injured that he cannot care for our kids alone and awaits surgery himself. Before this happened, my husband and I worked vigorously the last 10 years to be free of debt. But now I have to stay home, and in five short months our family has taken on nearly $900,000 in medical bills, some of which have now gone into collections.

The SWAT team raid happened while we were staying in Habersham County, Georgia. After initially offering to cover the medical expenses, the county has since refused to cover any of our medical costs, all of which would never have happened if the SWAT team hadn’t broken into the home.


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