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Ohio police use stun grenades during raid on home where toddler was on ventilator

(CNN) — Newly released body camera footage shows police in Elyria, Ohio, using flash-bang grenades when they raided a home last week where a toddler was connected to a ventilator. The mother said her son was injured in the incident.

Body camera footage from eight police officers was released Tuesday by the office of Elyria Mayor Kevin Brubaker, who requested an outside investigation into the Jan. 10 incident and how a search warrant for the home was obtained.

The warrant was part of an ongoing investigation involving multiple stolen weapons found at another residence, according to a police report released by the city Tuesday.

The mother, who identified herself as Courtney Price in the body camera footage, told CNN affiliate WOIO that her son, Waylon, has been diagnosed with chemical pneumonitis since the raid. This is a lung irritation. Price said the condition is caused by inhaling chemicals released by flash explosions.

However, police said in a statement that the devices “do not produce sustained combustion and do not deploy or contain pepper spray or chemical agents.”

“Any allegations of exposure to chemical agents, lack of medical care or neglect of the child are untrue,” the Elyria Police Department said in a statement.

In the video, just after 2:00 pm local time, police were standing outside the house. One police officer shouted: “Police search warrant, come to the door!”

About 10 seconds later, an officer used a pole to fire a grenade through a window, breaking it open. Another grenade was also used in the driveway, the police report said, adding: “The throwing was in a controlled manner and was intended to be a deliberate distraction.”

Police then entered through the front door with a battering ram and were met by the mother, who emerged from the house with her hands up, the video shows. His face was obscured in the body camera video. She was then handcuffed and explained to police that the house belonged to her uncles and that she lived with them.

In one of the videos, the woman explained that she and her son were the only ones at home at the time. She told police her son had a pre-existing medical condition and was indoors on a ventilator. As the video shows, a police officer searching the house found the child lying in a hammock near his crib and the sound of medical equipment could be heard. The woman was then taken upstairs where she told police about her son.

A woman and her 17-month-old son were found inside the home, police said in a statement. Detectives, paramedics and the mother “assessed the child’s condition and determined he did not suffer any visible injuries,” the statement said.

“The child was hanging from several machines far away from the broken windows,” the police report said, noting that the child appeared to be “uninjured.”

The mother and son’s names were redacted from documents released by the city.

Price, 25, told WOIO she was the woman who interacted with police at the home. Her aunt, Redia Jennings, told the affiliate that she and her husband rented the house last year. Property records obtained by CNN show Jennings lived at the address raided by police.

Price said she was stunned when the lights came on, smoke filled the house and police came through the front door as the raid unfolded.

“I didn’t know what to do because they had a gun pointed at me,” Price told the affiliate. “I wanted to run to (my son), but I knew if I ran to him, they would probably shoot him.”

Jennings said the teen police are looking for has not lived at the house for more than a year, but they have searched the house about five times.

In one of the videos, an officer asks: “Was it just a girl and a baby?” Another officer replies: “I think so. The target was at the school.”

The mayor has asked the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office to investigate the incident and how a warrant was obtained.

“While the images captured clearly illustrate what did and did not occur when the search warrant was executed, it does not answer questions about the reasons for the search warrant itself,” Mayor Brubaker said.

Jennings told WOIO the family plans to take legal action against the police department and will move into a new home this week.

CNN reached out to Mayor Brubaker, the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office and Courtney Price.

CNN’s Sharif Paget, Yan Kaner and Amanda Jackson contributed to this report.

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