A man from Springfield, Illinois is suing the city after police officers mistakenly suspected him of possessing drugs when it was his daughter’s ashes.
On April 6th, 2020, Dartavius Barnes was handcuffed and loaded into a police car, according to newly released bodycam video.
Barnes was stopped for reportedly speeding and failing to stop at a stop sign.
The video shows the man cooperating with officers during the arrest, leaving his vehicle when directed, and agreeing to have his vehicle searched.
He also informed the officers before they searched his car that he had marijuana in it.
After officers incorrectly told Barnes that a metal container in his car tested positive for meth or ecstasy when it contained the ashes of his 2-year-old daughter, Ta’Naja Barnes, Barnes became emotional.
Barnes starts pleading with the officers for the urn to be returned to him.
“Give it to me, bro.” That’s my daughter on the left. Please hand over my daughter to me, bro. Bro, put her in my hands. Barnes shouts at the police, “Y’all are rude, bro.”
They eventually handed the urn to Barnes’ father, who had arrived on the scene and was visibly shaken by the events. “I’m just going to issue him a note to appear on the weed,” one officer says.
Barnes has sued the city of Springfield and the six officers involved in the shooting in federal court.
According to the lawsuit, the deputies tested the ashes without his permission and also “desecrated” his daughter’s ashes by spilling some while testing them.
A jury trial has been scheduled for next year.
May her soul Rest In Peace.