Flash-bang grenades can (and do) kill and maim

Bloomington Herald-Times, April 10, 2015

To the Editor:

There was a factual error in the March 11, 2015 Herald-Times article (http://bit.ly/1HEAtjP) regarding a standoff with Bloomington police. The flash-bang grenade used by police, an explosive designed to produce a blinding flash of light and a deafening sound to disorient and confuse suspects, is NOT a “non-lethal” weapon. It should have been identified as a “less lethal” weapon, because flash-bang grenades can (and have) caused fatalities and serious injuries.

The most well-known case is the horrific burns suffered by 18-month-old Bounkham Phonesavanh, who was maimed last summer when a flash-bang grenade was tossed into his crib during a SWAT raid in Georgia. Tragically, a SWAT officer was killed by a “less lethal” flash-bang grenade in 2011. A woman in Minneapolis “suffered third- and fourth-degree burns” in 2010 when a flash-bang grenade exploded next to her legs.

For more resources on flash-bangs, see here: http://bit.ly/1bDENGg

Because of the dangerous nature of these explosives, it is imperative that we have a full accounting of the use of flash-bang grenades by local law enforcement. I call on both the Bloomington Police Department and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department to detail all use of flash-bang grenades and the justification for their deployment.

One thought on “Flash-bang grenades can (and do) kill and maim

  1. As you've often pointed out, militarized police are a threat to civilized society. I'd rank danger from rogue cops near the top of our country's present problems, leaving aside the GOP's usual exaggerations and outright lies about how the economy and everything else is “getting worse daily” under Pres. Obama.


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