Illinois father sues police for mistaking his daughter’s ashes for medicine in heartbreaking video
A grieving young father is suing the Springfield Police Department in Illinois after alleging that officers searching his vehicle mistook his daughter’s ashes for drugs.
The traffic obstruction in April 2020 was recorded by a police camera and recently released. In the heartbreaking video, Dartavius Barnes is handcuffed and seated in the back of a patrol car before allowing officers to “edit” his vehicle, according to Fox 2 Now.
“That was in the center console,” said one officer after searching Barnes’ car, unscrewing a cylinder and showing it to another officer. “At first I thought it was heroin, then I looked for cocaine, but it looks like it’s probably Molly.” “X pills?” asks another officer.
Despite positive results in a police field test, the powder in the metal container wasn’t drugs at all, but the cremated remains of Barnes ‘2-year-old daughter Ta’Naja, according to Barnes’ lawsuit.
When the police confronted Barnes about their find, Barnes lost it. “No, no, no, brother, this is my daughter!” He said repeatedly to the officers.
The toddler died in February 2019 after police found she was unresponsive and wrapped in a urine-soaked blanket, according to Fox 2. According to the authorities, she was neglected and starved to death in the days before her death.
The baby’s mother, T’wanka Davis, and her mother’s boyfriend were convicted of murder and both sentenced to decades in prison.
Barnes’ lawsuit alleges that officials opened Ta’Naja’s ashes without his consent, according to WRSP, and then buried them during the search.
The body cam video captured the moment the police told Barnes that they were arresting him for drug possession. When they showed him the cylinder they found in the center console, he collapsed immediately and asked them to return his daughter to him.
“Give this to me, brother. This is my daughter, ”Barnes pleaded. “Please give me my daughter, brother. Take it in my hand, brother. You are disrespectful, brother. “
The officers claiming they also found marijuana in the car discussed what Barnes told them, and eventually one of the officers said, “I’m just going to give him a lead so he’ll appear on the weed.”
Barnes is now suing the City of Springfield and several Springfield police officers. A trial on this matter is scheduled for August 2022.
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