“I stand behind what our team did,” insists Habersham County, Georgia Sheriff Joey Terrell, referring to a 3:00 a.m. no-knock SWAT raid in which a 19-month-old child was severely burned by a flash-bang grenade. “There’s nothing to investigate, there’s nothing to look at,” continued the sheriff, relaying the conclusions of the County DA’s office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. “Bad things can happen. That’s just the world we live in.”
If anyone is to blame, Terrell maintains, it was the alleged drug dealers who had supposedly sold drugs to a “cooperating informant.” His pious outrage overcoming his syntax, the sheriff characterized the suspects as people “who want to do the domestic terrorism and sell dope and make the money.” While emitting all of the expected sympathetic noises regarding the child – whose face and chest were ripped apart by the grenade that was tossed into his crib – the sheriff clearly regards the Stormtroopers who raided the house as the primary victims.
The officer who threw the grenade “is basically upside down,” relates the sheriff. “He’s gone and talked to his pastor, trying to get some counseling and some debriefing just to help him get through what has happened.” If the pastor is a man of God, rather than an agent of Leviathan, he will call that officer to repentance.
Special Response Team leader Matt Wurtz was also devastated by the incident, Terrell observed, but in a “trembling” voice expressed his determination to continue kicking in doors at 3:00 a.m. “because children are getting involved in situations they don’t need to be.”
That’s right: The on-site commander who nearly burned a child to death in a raid the likes of which the Gestapo might have regarded excessive did it For The Children.
Sheriff Terrell likewise remains committed to pursuing the path of righteousness:
“We’re called for a purpose. The members of this team want to be here… We’re getting more and more information about children, 14-15 years of age, getting into methamphetamine. Who is going to stand up for them? Who is going to do the right thing? We are! We are! And we are not going to stop what we do.”
One wonders if the “information” to which Sheriff Terrell refers is as reliable as that provided by the “confidential informant” who told police that there were no children at the home prior to the SWAT raid.
Alecia Phonesavanh, the mother of the infant who was severely burned and nearly murdered by Terrell’s ministering angels of divine justice, was visiting her sister-in-law when the raid took place.
“Everyone’s sleeping,” Phonesavanh told WSB news. “There’s a loud bang and a bright light. The cops threw that grenade in the door without looking first, and it landed right in the playpen and exploded on his pillow right in his face.”
While emphasizing the emotional wounds suffered by his gallant minions, Terrell pointedly sought to minimize the injury inflicted on the infant, who was placed in an induced coma: “I don’t think [the burns] cover a significant amount of the face or the chest,” the sheriff insisted. The journalists who saw photos of the baby offered a very different assessment: WSB “decided not to share most of the photos because of the graphic nature of the child’s injuries.”
Like many, if not most, of the people who follow his morally irredeemable profession, Sheriff Terrell has mastered the art of inverted self-pity, as taught to German Stormtroopers by Heinrich Himmler.
“What stuck in the minds of these men who had become murderers was simply the notion of being involved in something historic, grandiose, unique (“a great task that occurs once in two thousand years”), which must therefore be difficult to bear,” observed Hannah Arendt in her book Eichmann in Jerusalem. “Hence the problem was how to overcome not so much their conscience as the animal pity by which all normal men are affected in the presence of physical suffering. The trick used by Himmler — who apparently was rather strongly afflicted by these instinctive reactions himself — was very simple and probably very effective; it consisted in turning these instincts around, as it were, in directing them toward the self. So that instead of saying: What horrible things I did to people!, the murderers would be able to say: What horrible things I had to watch in the pursuance of my duties, how heavily the task weighed upon my shoulders!”
An isolated incident is an anomaly; two of its kind may be construed as a coincidence; when three or more occur, we’re confronted with a pattern. This is at least the third episode in which a SWAT team has burned a child during a night-time raid.
The most tragic episode of the kind was the murder, by SWAT team, of 7-year-old Detroit resident Aiyana Jones. Aiyana was burned by a flash-bang grenade and then shot in the head by SWAT operative – and “reality” TV star – Joseph Weekley on May 17, 2010. The midnight raid, which was carried out to arrest a homicide suspect who could easily have been arrested by conventional means the following morning, was staged for the benefit of a camera crew from the A&E cable network. The telegenic assault was carried out despite warnings from neighbors that children were present in the home — something that should have been obvious on account of the toys scattered in the front yard.
A pre-dawn raid in Billings, Montana on October 9, 2012 resulted in severe burns to a 12-year-old child after one of the raiders hurled a flash-bang grenade through the windows of her upstairs bedroom. Her father, who went to answer the door, dodged another that “blew the nails out of the drywall” and left a “large bowl-shaped dent in the wall,” reported the Missoulian newspaper.
This assault was staged by a SWAT team attached to the City-County Special Investigations Unit (CCIU) in Billings, Montana. Like Sheriff Terrell. Billings Police Chief Rich St. John insists that the assault on the home was carried out because of “hard evidence” that a meth lab existed on the premises. Praise be to all that is holy, that “evidence” was just as defective as the “intelligence” offered to Sheriff Terrell by his cooperating informant in Georgia – but one wonders why anyone possessed of a particle of tactical intelligence would hurl incendiary devices into a building that supposedly contains a lab filled with volatile chemicals.
Just like the officials responsible for the burning of the child in Habersham County and the murder of Aiyana Jones, Chief St. John claims that the CCIU had “hard evidence” insisted that his investigators simply didn’t know there were two children living on the targeted premises – not that this fact would necessarily have dictated restraint on the part of the home invasion squad.
“We generally do not introduce these disorienting devices when [children] are present,” St. John said regarding the flash-bang grenades used in the raid. This would mean, of course, that there are situations in which his agency uses incendiary rounds in the presence of children.
No arrests were made, and no charges were filed. Jackie Fasching, mother of the injured child, correctly points out that criminal charges should have been filed against the state-employed Berserkers who attacked her sleeping daughter. But accountability for criminal acts committed in the name of the State simply doesn’t exist in the American Soyuz, a country in which police kick in doors at 3:00 a.m. and burn infants in their cribs.