During an early morning raid in Billings, Montana a SWAT team stormed the home of Jackie Fasching , her husband and two little girls. During the raid the SWAT team like unit for the Billings Police Department decided it would be a good idea to use flash bangs and kick in the door of a home they suspected of being a meth lab. In the process of the raid one of the flash bang grenades used landed on Mrs. Fasching’s 12 year old daughter causing 1st and 2nd degree burns not to mention the unseen mental scars she and her sister experienced during this terror filled event.Well, I am not sure if you are familiar with meth labs but they are not conducive to open flames or sparks as they are extremely flammable due to the chemicals used in the manufacturing of the drug. That being said, the fact that they used flash bang grenades where young children were asleep is moronic and shows that public safety is not the primary concern of some police officers.
Police Chief Rich St. John said the 6 a.m. raid at 2128 Custer Ave., was to execute a search warrant as part of an ongoing narcotics investigation by the City-County Special Investigations Unit.
The grenade is commonly called a “flash-bang” and is used to disorient people with a bright flash, a loud bang and a concussive blast. It went off on the floor where the girl was sleeping. She was in her sister’s bedroom near the window the grenade came through, Fasching said.
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.
“She has first- and second-degree burns down the left side of her body and on her arms,” said the girl’s mother, Jackie Fasching. “She’s got severe pain. Every time I think about it, it brings tears to my eyes.”
Police departments are more and more inclined to look at encounters with the public as a military operation: That is to protect at all cost the police officers even if it means the death or injury of civilians who have nothing to do with the operation being carried out. This was the exact mentality that was used when the SWAT team used flammable grenades to storm a family home that was suspected of being a meth lab. Incidentally, no meth lab was found in the house.
The police Chief, Richard St. John stated that this was an accident that they did not foresee happening.
“It was totally unforeseen, totally unplanned and extremely regrettable,” said St. John.
The police Chief also failed to admit any wrongdoing. “If we’re wrong or made a mistake, then we’re going to take care of it,” St. John 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.”
Well, I guess they should have done a little more homework before they decided to attack a family home suspected of drug manufacturing. This is just the latest botched raid on a home in the war on drugs. If you want to see the extent of these military style raids taking place within the US every year, check out the map put together by the CATO Institute on Botched Paramilitary Raids.