clear
Tuesday May 5th, 2015 3:33PM

Habersham raid revives debate in GA over 'no-knock' warrants

By Ken Stanford Reporter
Related Articles
ATLANTA (AP) -- Gov. Nathan Deal said Thursday he's open to discussing whether legislative changes are necessary regarding "no-knock" warrants, but wants to see first the results of an investigation into a recent case involving a Georgia toddler hurt in a police raid.<br /> <br /> The debate over "no-knock" warrants is not new. There was a bipartisan effort by lawmakers in 2007 to tighten rules for such warrants, which are intended to protect officers from dangerous suspects while preventing evidence tampering. The effort, which failed, was prompted by a 2006 case in which an elderly Atlanta woman was killed in a shootout with police while they were executing a "no-knock" warrant at her home.<br /> <br /> "It would be one of those things that I would be open to if there is sufficient evidence to indicate that it needs to be revisited and more appropriate standards and requirements put in place," Deal said, adding he would want to make sure the law enforcement community was involved in any discussion on the issue.<br /> <br /> Deal also said it might be something he refers to his Criminal Justice Reform Council for review, but cautioned he wants to hear the results of an investigation into the May 28 police raid in which 19-month-old Bounkham Phonesavanh was severely injured by a flash grenade that landed in his playpen at home in Cornelia. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is looking into the case, and the boy's family has asked for a federal probe.<br /> <br /> "Sometimes legislative bodies react too quickly without looking at the broader consequences of what legislative action might be," Deal said. "But on the same token, if the standards and the requirements are not appropriate then they should be adjusted accordingly."<br /> <br /> Authorities in Habersham County, where the raid occurred, have said officers were looking for a suspect who may have been armed and didn't know children were inside. The device creates a bright flash and loud bang to distract suspects.<br /> <br /> Deal's Democratic challenger, state Sen. Jason Carter of Atlanta, said in a statement the dangers of "no-knock" warrants have been known and reiterated his support for limiting such warrants.<br /> <br /> "This incident in Cornelia is a heartbreaking example of what can happen, and we need to do everything we can to prevent anything like it from happening again," Carter said.
© Copyright 2015 AccessNorthGa.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 4 months ago )
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 4 months ago )
Sheriff: Man shot 2 on I-85 because he wanted car
A 22-year-old man shot two people who stopped to give him a ride on Interstate 85 in South Carolina on Christmas Eve because he wanted their car to drive to Georgia, a sheriff said Wednesday.
5:21PM ( 4 months ago )
Local/State News
Dump truck driver in serious condition after Gainesville wreck
A male dump truck driver is in serious condition after his truck overturned on Queen City Parkway Tuesday morning.
1:00PM ( 2 hours ago )
Bicyclist killed in Jackson Co. hit and run was local pastor
The bicyclist killed in a crash with a hit and run driver Monday has been identified as a Gainesville pastor.
12:11PM ( 3 hours ago )
One killed in morning rush hour crash on Hwy. 316
A traffic accident that blocked Georgia SR 316 for most of the morning rush hour Tuesday left one person dead, according to the Georgia State Patrol.
11:25AM ( 4 hours ago )
Virginia murder suspect caught in Toccoa
Police say the former son-in-law of a man found shot to death in Virginia has been charged with first-degree murder.
By Associated Press
10:51AM ( 4 hours ago )
Two Gwinnett police officers hit, injured by vehicle during pursuit
Authorities are reporting that three Gwinnett County police officers were struck by a vehicle during an incident in the Snellville area early Tuesday morning.
By AccessWDUN staff
6:53AM ( 8 hours ago )