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$3.6 Million for Baby Bou Bou; Nothing for the Fourth Amendment

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 BigRed    150

Last Friday a federal judge signed off on settlements totaling $3.6 million to be paid to the family of Bou Bou, an infant who was blown up in his crib during a no-knock raid in May, 2014. Said the family’s attorney:“We have worked diligently … to obtain the best possible result for Baby Bou Bou and his family. What we achieved will not fix what happened or take away [their] nightmares, but we hope it helps them move forward as a family.”

Small comfort. Bou Bou’s mother, Alecia Phonesavanh, described what happened at 2:25 am on Wednesday morning, May 28th, while she, he husband Bounkham and their four children were sleeping:

Everyone’s sleeping. There’s a loud bang and a bright light. The cops threw [a] grenade in the door without looking first, and it landed right in [Bou Bou’s] playpen and it exploded on his pillow right in his face.

Bou Bou, then 19 months old, nearly died. Investigative journalist Jacob Sullum, writing forReason magazine, said that baby Bou Bou suffered “blast burn injuries to the face and chest; a complex laceration of the nose, upper lip and face; 20% of the right upper lip missing; the external nose being separated from the underlying bone; and a large avulsion burn injury to [his] chest with a resulting left pulmonary contusion and sepsis.”

He’s gone through more than a dozen surgeries already, and more are going to be needed at least annually for the foreseeable future. Medical bills are already above a million dollars, and climbing.

When a grand jury investigation ruled that none of the deputies was criminally liable, the family sued civilly and Friday’s settlement concluded that chapter.

The FBI entered the picture with an indictment against one of the nine sheriffs involved in the raid, Nikki Autry:


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