Police Abuse

12-Year-Old Girl Has Second Degree Burns From SWAT Flash Grenade Detonated During Wrong-Door Raid

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A 12-year-old girl in Billings, Montana, is suffering first and second degree burns on half her body after a SWAT team dropped a flash bang grenade next to her bed during a wrong-door drug raid on Oct. 9. 

The Billings Police Department claims that the officer who detonated the grenade inserted it through the girl's bedroom window on a pole, and was supposed to detonate it while holding it up in the air. He mistimed the explosion however, and ended up dropping the live flashbang next to the girl's bed.

Jackie Fasching, the girl's mother, told The Missoulian that her daughter is in "severe pain." Fasching also told the paper that the officers didn't need to burn her daughter, or destroy her house, to conduct their investigation: 

"A simple knock on the door and I would've let them in," she said. "They said their intel told them there was a meth lab at our house. If they would've checked, they would've known there's not."

Mr. Fasching, the report says, attempted to open the door seconds before SWAT officers battered it down. After the raid was over, no charges were filed and no arrests were made. Taken together, this information suggests that the Billings Police Department made several mistakes, ranging from burning a child to raiding the wrong house. A spokesperson for the department, however, says they had every reason (and right) to do what they did:

"The information that we had did not have any juveniles in the house and did not have any juveniles in the room," he said. "We generally do not introduce these disorienting devices when they're present."

"Every bit of information and intelligence that we have comes together and we determine what kind of risk is there," St. John said. "The warrant was based on some hard evidence and everything we knew at the time."

But Fasching said the risk wasn't there and the entry created, for her and her daughters, a sense of fear they can't shake.

"I'm going to have to take them to counseling," she said. "They're never going to get over that."

A claims process has already been started with the city. St. John said it's not an overnight process, but it does determine if the Police Department needs to make restitution.

"If we're wrong or made a mistake, then we're going to take care of it," he said. "But if it determines we're not, then we'll go with that. When we do this, we want to ensure the safety of not only the officers, but the residents inside."

No arrests were made during the raid and no charges have been filed, although a police spokesman said afterward that some evidence was recovered during the search. St. John declined to release specifics of the drug case, citing the active investigation, but did say that "activity was significant enough where our drug unit requested a search warrant."

Happy Friday.

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144 responses to “12-Year-Old Girl Has Second Degree Burns From SWAT Flash Grenade Detonated During Wrong-Door Raid

  1. Why the fuck does Billings, Montana have a SWAT team?

    1. Why the fuck does Billings, Montana have a SWAT team?

      Militae.

      –DHS Spokesperson

    2. Because…

      *breathes in*

      FUCK YOU, THAT’S WHY!!!

      1. I hope she sues for this. That pre-teen is never going to be able to wear a bikini without anxiety and embarrassment.

        We in the commentariat may not be able to empathize, but for a teenage girl (who’s interest in flirting and boys and dating boys) that sucks.

  2. So in other words these “Barneys” are trusted with light duty explosives and automatic weapons but in a statistically significant number of cases lack the reading comprehension or basic police skills to find the proper house/potential crime scene?

    Well….color me shocked.

    1. “Barneys”? That’s a bit insulting. Barney only shot himself in the foot.

  3. “The information that we had did not have any juveniles in the house and did not have any juveniles in the room,” he said. “We generally do not introduce these disorienting devices when they’re present.”

    When deploying explosive devices, seconds matter. The last thing you want to do is verify the information you’ve been supposedly handed.

    1. “We generally do not introduce these disorienting devices when they’re present.”

      I think we all know where this is going:

      Well, there you go. They wouldn’t have done it if they had known she was present. It’s her fault for not announcing her presence when the police came inside. If she had, they wouldn’t have burned her. A reasonable child would have said something. Fuck her.

      1. If they hadn’t done, what I told ’em not to do, they’d still be alive (or not burnt).

        1. Ooh, nice Vic Vega reference.

  4. Meth labs are full of toxic, flammable chemicals.

    Yeah, just the place to toss a fucking grenade….

    Real Dunphys, these guys.

    1. Flash-bang in a suspected meth lab! That’s exactly what I came to discuss.

      I lived in an apartment when I was in college, and there was a duplex behind us that put off the worst chemical smell I ever experienced. I called the cops just because one of them threatened my girlfriend and I mentioned the smell while I was at it. The PD arrested everybody, hauled off a bunch of stuff and made a really big deal out of it. Told me they were making crank. “Making what?” The cop used a half dozen more words before giving up. The suspect’s cousin lived in my building and burned the place down a few months later. Think maybe he was doing something similar?

    2. Indeed – I was going to try and make a technical statement, appealing to my own authroity as a (former) Ordnance officer, but I checked myself…. so, here it is from a purely lay person, “civilian” standpoint –

      WHO THE FUCK THROWS A FLASHBANG INTO A HOME THEY THINK CONTAINS A METH LAB?!!!

      1. Lets hope many more cops throw FLASHBANGS into REAL meth labs. That should thin out the LE herd a little.

  5. What’s the pressing need for no-knock raids again? Why shouldn’t the cops have to get a warrant and knock on the door? I’m not clear on that. Sure, evidence could be destroyed, but how often is all the crucial evidence in the house, ready to be destroyed?

    1. Don’t you know all incriminating evidence is always located directly above toilets and/or ever-burning fires, ready to drop in at the push of a button?

      1. Seems to me that there’s got to be something more than quickly disposable evidence to get the warrant in the first place.

        Speaking of toilets as devices for mass evidence destruction, why not just do something to block the house from the main sewer pipe? Or maybe a sewage recovery robot?

        1. Oh that’s just genius! A sewage recovery robot? More pork pet projects, Pro’L Dib!

          I see you are in the pocket of Big Robotix, shill shill shilling away.

          This also why central planner types want the low flow toilets, to prevent the ease of disposal of contraband.

          1. I’d buy that bit about the low-flow toilets, only I don’t think they operate that subtly.

        2. No, it isn’t only about evidence preservation. Even more is about officer safety due to shock and awe tactics.

          1. What’s dangerous about, “Dave’s not here, man”?

            1. No man, *I’m* Dave!

      2. It’s particularly amusing when the no-knock is to take down a “major” pot grow. Because large plants can be flushed so quickly and easily.

        1. I’m sure meth manufacturing facilities can be disposed of in two, three low-flow flushes, tops.

    2. The Supreme Court has decided before that it’s okay in the interest of public safety, even though there’s no way kicking down someone’s door without serving them a warrant is consistent with the right to be “secure in (your) person, houses, papers, and effects, against unresaonble searches and seizures.”

      1. No seriously, what’s this Fourth Amendment everybody keeps getting so worked up about?

        1. It’s the Forth Amendment. As in go forth from your home and let the cops do their job.

        2. Ezra Klein: it is some ancient concept that doesn’t make any sense in our times.

          1. In other words “just a goddamned piece of paper”? Good to know!

          2. It only makes sense to rich white men.

      2. I have a cunning plan. As everyone knows, law students graduating today are having real trouble finding jobs. In order to protect this vital, American profession, I suggest that people hire in-home attorneys. These lawyers will represent you in the event cops come barging through your door.

        1. Live-in attorney? That’s very Heinleinian.

        2. That’s actually not a bad idea, but it will have to be done on a pro bono basis with a certain number of time before graduation from law school and after the awarding of a law license with future validity of said law license contingent upon maintenance of future in-house lodgings.

          Say, aren’t you in-house counsel?

          1. In the corporation sense, yes. Not in the house lawyer/greeter sense.

            So, you see this as the lawyer equivalent to a post-MD internship? Yes, I like it. All new lawyers have to spend their first year or so as an in-home attorney, providing on-demand legal services and some housekeeping duties.

          2. I like it. Room and board should cover it.

            And a sign out front: “Beware of Lawyer”.

            1. DO NOT FEED: UNLICENSED ATTORNEY.

              1. “Alright, we’re going out for the night – be sure to let the dog out, get the kids to bed by 9pm, and finish those incorporation documents!”

        3. Of course if you can’t afford an atty, the govt must provide you one and now just ran afoul of the Third Amdt!

          1. Only if your in-home attorney is also a JAG officer.

        4. As soon as my eldest graduates, I may well have one.

          1. Congratulations! Let us know how you do.

            1. And if I can get him to also do light yard work, it’ll be worth it.

        5. Pro Libertate said:
          “I have a cunning plan.”

          I say, “BALDRICK!”

      3. I think searching should not even take place until an attorney is present if the person being searched wants one. The cops can detain the person until the attorney is present, and then the person can sue for wrongful arrest if nothing is found in the search.

        Fuck dunphy.

    3. Apparently it’s easy to flush an entire meth lab down the toilet.

  6. “I’m going to have to take them to counseling,” she said. “They’re never going to get over that.”

    A small price to pay for a safe and secure society.

    1. Its a price the SWAT team is happy for her to pay.

    2. I wasn’t sure if she meant that the children would never get over the counseling, or that the counseling is intended to make sure the children never get over the incident.

  7. “If we’re wrong or made a mistake, then we’re going to take care of it,” he said. “But if it determines we’re not, then we’ll go with that.”

    Gee, I wonder what the determination will be?

    I see Riggs is really getting into the swing of things on the Friday nutpunch.

    1. I’m getting too old for this shit, Riggs.

  8. Wait a minute, they believed that the house was hiding a Meth lab, places notorious for blowing themselves up because the quantity of flamabile chemicals and their tendency to spread them all over the place and they tossed in an explosive device?

    What they hell were they trying to do, blow up half the friggin block?

    1. We’re talking about cops… they tend not to be very smart.

      1. Particularly the ones that do gravitate to SWAT and vice.

        1. I don’t think it’s so much a lack of intelligence, but a lack of caring.

          As long as they follow policy and procedure, they don’t care.

          It’s all for the thrill. The possibility of blowing up a house just adds to the thrill.

          Burning little girls? Who cares. Policy and procedure were followed.
          Fuck her. It’s her own fault for being there.

          Right Dunphy?

    2. Its a quick and easy way for the police to tell if there’s *actually* a lab there.

      Toss in a flashbang – if the house blows up, it was a meth lab.
      If it doesn’t its safe to bust down the door because the people living there just have some coke or pot lieing around at worst.

      1. And if the place catches fire after the cops toss in an explosive, they can charge the occupants with arson too.

  9. “A simple knock on the door and I would’ve let them in,”

    Karma. I hope your daughter takes advantage of your love by taking everything she can get from you while despising you until she writes you off.

  10. OW! My Balls!

    1. Stop resisting!

  11. A SWAT member attached it to a boomstick, a metal pole that detonates the grenade, and stuck it through the bedroom window. St. John said the grenade normally stays on the boomstick so it goes off in a controlled manner at a higher level.

    However, the officer didn’t realize that there was a delay on the grenade when he tried to detonate it. He dropped it to move onto a new device, St. John said. The grenade fell to the floor and went off near the girl.

    Yeah, give the explosive to the dipshit who doesn’t know how it works. Have him blindly stick it through a little girl’s window.

    I wonder if when these guys go home safe to their families they’re proud of their professionalism.

    1. “Oh shit what do I do what do I do its about to-“

    2. I imagine their mentality is akin to that concentration camp guard who wrote a letter to his wife complaining that he was “disturbed by the cries of children”, meaning not that he was morally disturbed, but that their cries were disturbing his sleep.

    3. Officer safety is job #1.

    4. “…and carefully cut the wires leading to the clockwork fuse at the head.”

      [cuts wires]

      “But first, remove the fuse.”

    5. “A SWAT member attached it to a boomstick, a metal pole that detonates the grenade, and stuck it through the bedroom window.”

      THIS IS MY BOOMSTICK!

      1. Shop Smart. Shop S-Mart!

  12. “No arrests were made during the raid and no charges have been filed, although a police spokesman said afterward that some evidence was recovered during the search.”

    I see. Ass covering insurance.

    I hope these incompetent swat dipshits run afoul of a militia and handle the situation poorly.

    1. “Some evidence”

      Yeah, anything can be evidence, but evidence of what, precisely? Not criminal activity, that’s for damn sure.

      1. Everyone is guilty of something (in the three-felonies-a-day sense). Maybe they took the girl’s iPod as evidence of unlicensed MP3s.

        If even one MP3 wasn’t properly paid for, the raid was a success!

      2. They probably found coffee filters in a kitchen cabinet, Red Devil under the sink and some cold meds in the bathroom. Just a meth lab waiting to happen. Or the husband had some left over plumbing supplies in the garage, so obviously he was making pipe bombs.

        1. Or even an over abundance of baby formula

      3. Evidence pointing to just how badly they fucked up.

    2. some evidence was recovered during the search

      I’m just wondering if it was there before the search.

  13. After the raid was over, no charges were filed and no arrests were made.

    Continuum of force, officer safety, expert training, valid warrant, proper execution of a warrant obtained in good faith…

    And, of course, fried chicken.

    Did I miss anything?

    1. Yeah:

      fuck you, that’s why

    2. “Procedures were followed”

    3. Nothing to see here, move along.

    4. Contract and officer due process.

  14. The decision to use a SWAT team was based on a detailed checklist the department uses when serving warrants.

    [] Will it be fun to scare the shit out of some dirtbag civilians?

    [] Will we get to blow shit up?

    [] Is there any possibility of putting a bullet in a dog or dogs?

    [] Will we get to shout orders at scantily clad girls in their own bedrooms?

    [] Will we get to manhandle scantily clad girls in their own bedrooms?

    [] Is the level of authority we will command at gunpoint be enough to make us feel manly?

    One or more checkmarks means it’s a go for SWAT deployment. Remember, officer safety is paramount!

    1. They will never tick that last box. They will never know what it is to feel manly.

  15. “I would like to see whoever threw those grenades in my daughter’s room be reprimanded,” she said. “If anybody else did that it would be aggravated assault. I just want to see that the city is held accountable for what they did to my children.”

    THERE IS NO DOUBLE STANDARD.

    1. You don’t understand. There is a double standard BOTH ways. In this instance, the union CONTRACT did not EXPlICITLY mention that LEO’s are not allowed to THROW flash grenades into the wrong houses. It’s not their fault, proper TRAINING in the future will address the situation. Do you really want the ALTERNATIVE where the people who KEEP our streets SAFE are restrained from using full discretion to MAINTAIN order?

      /Dunphy

      1. Needs more

        enters and/or RETURNS.

        1. Yeah if I wanted to go full Dunphy that post would have been at least a full page

  16. Even if the parents were guilty as fuck, the pigs should still be liable for harm to the children.

    1. Maybe the parents should also be liable in that case. That does not negate the liability of the pigs.

    2. Incorrect. Children are guilty for the sins of their parents down to the seventh generation.

      1. Ahh. We’re following Klingon rules.

        That does actually explain a few things; government corruption at the highest levels, constantly refreshing the veneer of honor and integrity while maintaining neither, etc.

  17. Are warrants just a formality?

    I mean, do judges ever say “No, I won’t sign this”?

    Or can the cops shop until they find one who will sign?

    How many times have you heard cops say “Let me in or I’ll get a warrant” as if getting one is a forgone conclusion?

  18. I could have sworn that Charles Schumer said these things were safe.

  19. But it’s still OK to burn adults in their bed with explosives?

    1. Yes, cuz’ Officer Safety. LE can also murder, rape and thieve without repercussions.

      Any other questions?

  20. “They said their intel told them there was a meth lab at our house”

    And proper police procedure when entering a ‘meth lab’ in the middle of the night is to ignite pyrotechnics that potentially start fires, leading to dramatic explosion of said meth lab.

    oh, fuck… some smartass said the same thing above. Damn your eyes!

  21. …and nothing else happened.

  22. Gosh, I bet Steve Bullock is outraged by this.

  23. Why the fuck does Billings, Montana have a SWAT team?

    So recently arrived soccer moms from California won’t feel like they’re living in Hicktopia.

  24. If we’re wrong or made a mistake, then we’re going to take care of it,” he said. “But if it determines we’re not, then we’ll go with that. When we do this, we want to ensure the safety of not only the officers, but the residents inside.”

    ____________________

    Uh, yes, you were wrong. No meth lab. And you also failed toensure the safety of the residents, see photo of badly burned little girl.

    Seriously, one can only hope that some day soon there will be a no-knock raid on some former special forces dude’s house and he just slaughters all the fucking cowards who make a living terrorizing people with these abominable excuses for “law enforcement.”

    1. Then more cops will come to slaughter dude and his entire family, and the incident will be written off as a deranged vet going all PTSD on the city’s finest.

      The entire local government will shut down for a week as they mourn the loss, while procedures will be modified to use even more violence on entry to ensure this never again happens.

      1. Sadly that wouldn’t deter them. It would just make them worse. They get off on the idea that they are really in danger.

        1. They get off on the idea that they are really in danger.

          Do they? Or do they get off on the possibility of legally taking someone’s life?

          I once overheard a drunk cop (en vino veritas) lamenting that he’d never had a chance to kill someone.

          And people wonder why cops make me nervous, even when I’m not doing anything wrong. As far as I’m concerned, when I see a cop I see someone who is always alert for an excuse to hurt someone.

          1. Do they? Or do they get off on the possibility of legally taking someone’s life?

            It is both. The imagined danger makes shooting someone that much more fun.

            1. Real danger sucks. A lot.

              I think it is the ability to boast of being in danger… “no shit, there I was…”

    2. That’d be a cool movie though, maybe a “reboot” of the Rambo franchise.

    3. Yeah, I think a vet already tried that. Using technicalities, the cops keep shutting down various charities dedicated to raising money for his defense.

      1. This one came to mind for a police killing of a vet:

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..67020.html

        1. What’s in a name? That which we call a Drug Warrior by anyother name still smells of shyte!

          1. Warrior=Marine
            Drug Warrior=shyte!

  25. “The information that we had did not have any juveniles in the house and did not have any juveniles in the room,” he said. “We generally do not introduce these disorienting devices when they’re present.”

    Because burning adults to death is just okay. What does her being a child have to do with it? The implication of this statement is that the Police Department would have been just fine if an innocent adult had been hurt.

    “Every bit of information and intelligence that we have comes together and we determine what kind of risk is there,” St. John said. “The warrant was based on some hard evidence and everything we knew at the time.”

    So in other words police safety is more important than the public’s safety.

    “If we’re wrong or made a mistake, then we’re going to take care of it,” he said. “But if it determines we’re not, then we’ll go with that. When we do this, we want to ensure the safety of not only the officers, but the residents inside.”

    Apparently there are all kinds of circumstances where setting a child’s bed on fire with her in it after you raided the wrong house is not a mistake. In other words “fuck you that is why”. Disgusting.

  26. No arrests were made during the raid and no charges have been filed, although a police spokesman said afterward that some evidence was recovered during the search.

    Translation: We found a bottle of a previous boyfriend’s blood pressure medication in his name. We’re gonna nail this loud-mouthed bitch.

  27. If they had “intel” that there was a meth lab in the house and there obviously wasn’t a meth lab in the house, then how did they get the warrant? Can the family sue to get the name of the person who “swatted” them? And if not, let’s change that.

    1. I bet no one swatted them. I bet the goons were too fucking stupid to read the address correctly. There probably is a meth lab one block over.

      1. I’d like to see wrong address raids void sovereign immunity.

        1. I’d like to see SI completely eliminated…period…full stop.

  28. If there was a meth lab, why would you run a no knock raid? What are they going to flush the lab down the toilet after you knock. These goons just like terrorizing people. Safety or even evidence collection has nothing to do with it.

    Here is the sad fact, if the cop hadn’t fucked up and set the grenade off, this wouldn’t even be a story.

    1. And aren’t meth labs prone to exploding when you introduce open flames? So they threw an incidiary device through the window?

  29. “The Billings Police Department claims that the officer who detonated the grenade inserted it through the girl’s bedroom windown on a poll,…”

    So they took a vote on whether to use a grenade?

    1. Amazingly it was a unanimous decision.

  30. some evidence was recovered

    The pigs stole all their computers.

    Just in case.

    1. And cash as well. Must test it for drug residue.

  31. “The warrant was based on some hard evidence and everything we knew at the time.”

    Ah, the old “based on the intelligence we had at the time” defense. Nice to see White House tactics trickle down to the state level.

    1. Not every warrant results in evidence. So the mere fact that there was not a meth lab there does not make this a bad raid. What made it a bad raid was they completely fucked up and an innocent person got hurt. That is what is so infuriating about this. The police are acting like it would have okay to set the little girl on fire if they had just had the right house and since they did everything they could to get the right house, this is no big deal.

      1. The police are acting like it would have okay to set the little girl on fire if they had just had the right house and since they did everything they could to get the right house, this is no big deal.

        ^^^^ This can’t be emphasized enough. I don’t care if they *were* running a meth lab. You knock and allow the property owner the opportunity to unlock the door.

        And if someone is stupid enough to shoot a cop who knocks on their door, well, cops are fucking expendable; 10 guys apply for each opening.

        1. It is the cops’ job to get shot so I don’t. That is why they get a paycheck and get to claim they are protecting the public. The flatfoots we have now seem to have forgotten that.

  32. “We generally do not introduce these disorienting devices when they’re present.”

    I imagine getting first and second degree burns on half of your body is pretty disorienting.

    I thought this was choice:

    St. John declined to release specifics of the drug case, citing the active investigation,

    Well, this investigation is obviously a big fucking secret, so I can see why they want to keep it under wraps.

    the officer who detonated the grenade inserted it through the girl’s bedroom windown on a poll, and was supposed to detonate it while holding it up in the air.

    Because holding it over her bed when you detonated it would have been perfectly OK and would not have resulted in any trauma?

  33. “A claims process has already been started with the city. St. John said it’s not an overnight process, but it does determine if the Police Department needs to make restitution.

    “If we’re wrong or made a mistake, then we’re going to take care of it,” he said. “But if it determines we’re not, then we’ll go with that.

    1) You burned a child, you fucked up and no “process” can relieve you of that

    2) It will determine you were justified. Because it always does.

    1. I would like to ask her exactly when setting a child on fire doesn’t constitute them being wrong or making a mistake?

      1. “Ms. Flack, a girl got burned over half her body. Could you explain to us the situation in which that would not be wrong or a mistake?”

        1. When there’s a dog available to shoot/burn.

  34. I’m sure it’s just an isolated incident.

    1. Mistakes were made, grenades went off. What is your point Warren?

  35. Hey, did you guys hear about the cop who shot a dog, and it was supposedly justified?… No? Hopefully Dumphy will hijack this thread with all the righteous details for you. The owner even agreed with the killing! Don’t worry, the officer wasn’t seriously injured!

  36. “The information that we had did not have any juveniles in the house and did not have any juveniles in the room,” he said. “We generally do not introduce these disorienting devices when they’re present.”

    Yes you do, because you just did.

  37. “If we’re wrong or made a mistake, then we’re going to take care of it,” he said. “But if it determines we’re not, then we’ll go with that. When we do this, we want to ensure the safety of not only the officers, but the residents inside.”

    Isn’t the fact that we’re in this situation mean that it was wrong and you made a mistake?

  38. Duct tape a grenade to the officer and set it off. See how much he likes it!

  39. They thought the house was a meth lab, so they decided to drop an explosive in through the window? The fact that the entire house didn’t explode should have been their first clue that it wasn’t a meth lab.

  40. i hope she sues the heck out of them!!!

  41. Let me get this straight. This was a raid what was thought to be a meth lab and after all the crying and whining about how dangerous and volatile these labs are we have officers putting an explosive device into the middle of a meth lab?????? What a freaking joke!!!

  42. Conspicuous Dunphy absence, day 2.

  43. Police have declared war on non-violent people.
    Without warning they make violent assaults on citizens as in a state of war.
    There is no justification for violent action in non-violent circumstances and any excuse for doing so is no more than a pathetic excuse.
    This is a crime against humanity.

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