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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Ohio Police Deployed Flash-Bangs During Raid of Home with Toddler on Ventilator

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ELYRIA, Ohio – Shocking body-worn camera footage released by Elyria Mayor Kevin Brubaker’s office shows ⁢police​ deploying exploding flash-bangs during a home raid, while‌ a toddler on a ventilator was inside.‍ The mother claims her ‍child was​ harmed during​ the ‌incident.

The warrant was ‌served as⁢ part of an ongoing investigation involving multiple stolen guns recovered at a different residence, according to an after-action report released by the city Tuesday.

Police believed stolen guns ‌were also taken to the residence where the toddler and mother were staying, and⁢ the officers were searching for the weapons, the report​ said.

Later that day, officers entered the home with guns, ‌a battering ram and flash-bangs, according to body camera footage.

“All I seen was lights flashing and smoke coming into ​the house,” Courtney Price told CNN affiliate WOIO, saying she and her son⁣ were ‌the only people in‍ the home at the ‌time.

Redia Jennings, Price’s aunt, told WOIO she and her husband have rented the home for the past year, and ⁢the person police were ‌looking for‌ has not lived at the residence for more than​ a year. His family now lives ⁣down the block, Jennings told the station.

Price told WOIO that her son, Waylon, has ⁢been diagnosed ‍with chemical pneumonitis — a form of lung irritation – since the ​raid. Price said the condition was caused by inhaling chemicals released by the flash-bangs.

Waylon’s⁤ eyes, chest, arm and neck were burned and he⁢ experienced trouble⁣ breathing, according to a GoFundMe* campaign created by Jennings to help pay for Waylon’s medical expenses.

Waylon is now in stable condition at the University Hospitals ⁣Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, the health system​ told CNN in a statement Wednesday.

Police said the ‍devices “do not produce a continuous burn and they do not deploy or contain any pepper ‌gas or chemical agents.”

“Any allegation suggesting the⁤ child was exposed to chemical agents, lack of medical attention or negligence is not true,” the police department ⁢said in its statement.

In the after-action report, police said “extensive criminal activity along with subjects involved” contributed to the decision to use a Special Response Team ‌— which Elyria Police has described as being a SWAT team.

Officers then entered the front door with a battering ram and encountered the mother,​ who exited the house with her hands raised, the footage shows.⁤ Her face is obscured in the⁢ body camera video. She is then handcuffed and can be heard​ explaining‍ to police that the⁣ house belongs to her aunt and uncle⁢ and she is staying with them.

“I didn’t know what to do because there was guns pointed at me,” Price told WOIO. “I wanted to run to (my son), but I knew ⁣if I ran to him they could’ve shot.”

In one of the videos, the woman explains she and her child are the only people in the⁣ home at the time. She tells officers that her child has a pre-existing medical condition and is on a ventilator inside the home. An officer searching the home finds the child in a baby bouncer near a crib and the sound​ of medical equipment can be heard, video shows. The woman is ⁢later brought upstairs and talked⁢ with officers about her child’s condition.

Price, 25, told WOIO that she was the woman ​who interacted with‍ police inside⁤ the home.

Jennings said while the teenager who police were looking for hadn’t lived at the house for more than a year, ​police had⁢ come to the home about‍ five times looking for him.

The mayor has asked the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office to investigate the incident, as well as how the warrant was obtained.

“While the footage captured clearly illustrates what did and did not ‌occur when the search warrant was executed, it does ‍not answer questions of what led to the warrant itself,” Brubaker said.

Jennings told WOIO‍ that the family plans to take legal action against the police department and are moving to a new home this week.

*KSL.com does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit⁢ of the persons ‍named as beneficiaries. ‍If you are considering⁤ a deposit to the account, you should consult‍ your own advisers and ⁢otherwise proceed at‌ your own risk.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Disagree. This seems like a disproportionate use of force that puts an innocent child at risk. There must be more humane and cautious ways to conduct police operations.

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