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Ga. toddler burned, critically hurt by flash grenade during drug raid

ATLANTA — Officers raiding a home in Georgia in search of an alleged drug suspect used a flash grenade not knowing children were inside, severely burning a toddler, the family told WSB-TV.

Habersham County Sheriff Joey Terrell said officers were searching for a suspect who “may have been armed,” adding officers “followed proper procedure.”

“(The toddler) is in a medically induced coma and he is paralyzed. I hope he’s not going to remember this. I know his sisters, his mommy and his daddy will never forget this,” the boy’s mother, Alecia Phonesavanh, told WSB-TV.

Phonesavanh said he was sleeping in his playpen when the raid began.

“It’s a tragic incident,” Terrell said. “The baby didn’t deserve this.”

Phonesavanh said the cops threw the grenade at the door “without looking” and it landed in the playpen, exploding on the child’s pillow, according to WSB-TV.

A flash grenade creates a bright flash and loud bang to distract suspects.

Cornelia Police Chief Rick Darby said the officers are distraught over what happened and have been receiving death threats.

Source: WSB-TV