Settlement Won’t Even Cover Medical Bills for Baby Whose Face was Blown Apart by Police Grenade
In May of last year, Bounkham “Baby Bou Bou” Phonesavanh, 19-months-old, was asleep in his crib. At 3:00 am militarized police barged into his family’s home because an informant had purchased $50 worth of meth from someone who once lived there. During the raid, a flash-bang grenade was thrown into the sleeping baby’s crib, exploding in his face.
Beyond the disfiguring wounds on the toddler’s face, the grenade also left a gash in his chest. As a result, Bou lost the ability to breathe on his own and was left in a medically induced coma for days after the incident. Bou was not able to go home from the hospital until July.
No officers were charged for their near-deadly negligence, and the department claimed that they did not know that there were children in the home. They defended their reckless actions by saying that they couldn’t have done a thorough investigation prior to the raid because it “would have risked revealing that the officers were watching the house.”
Now, a nearly $1 million dollar settlement has been reached between the family and the county. One of the terms of the settlement is that the family may not sue individuals involved in maiming their son. Instead of coming from the wallets of the negligent officers, it will come strictly from the taxpayers.
Medical bills for the treatment of Bou’s injuries are expected to reach $1 million dollars.
In Los Angeles, settlements to resolve lawsuits against the LAPD amount to over one billion dollars a year. Across the country in New York City, a lawsuit is filed every two and a half hours against the NYPD. They are sued so often, in fact, that the city comptroller, Scott Stringer, said that the 2015 budget would have to include $674 million dollars for settlements and judgments against the police. The budget allotted for police negligence and misconduct is more than the budget for the Parks Department, Department of Aging, and the New York Public Library combined.