A father is suing an Illinois police division for opening an urn containing the ashes of his deceased daughter

In his lawsuit, Dartavius Barnes claims that the officers violated his Fourth Modification rights in opposition to unreasonable search and seizure. Barnes additionally claims the officers stopped his automobile initially with out cheap suspicion or possible trigger that Barnes had dedicated a criminal offense, in keeping with the lawsuit filed by Barnes’ lawyer, James C. Pullos.

The lawsuit additionally accuses the police division of violating his Fourth Modification rights of illegal search and seizure of his car with out possible trigger, a legitimate search warrant, or consent, and claims the officers acted deliberately and maliciously.

In its response to the lawsuit, the town denied Barnes’ claims and maintained the town and its officers are protected by “certified immunity as their conduct was justified by an objectively cheap perception that it was lawful.” 

The Springfield metropolis lawyer, Emily A. Fancher, declined to remark to CNN. “Sadly, I’m not permitted to increase upon the contents of our reply presently,” Fancher mentioned. 

The Springfield Police Division additionally declined to remark when contacted by CNN. 

Barnes has declined to talk with CNN about this incident.

Physique digital camera footage exhibits site visitors cease and search

The site visitors cease occurred on April 6, 2020, when Barnes was pulled over by a Springfield Police officer for rushing and working a cease signal, in keeping with the police incident report.

The officer who stopped Barnes’ automobile said in his incident report that he heard by division radio that Barnes was additionally a possible suspect from a close-by report of pictures fired.

Barnes’ car was shot one time within the passenger aspect rear fender, in keeping with a police incident report. “It’s unknown if the blue Chrysler pushed by (Dartavius Barnes) was a goal of the shooter or was hit by the spherical,” the incident report states.

“I had Dartavius exit the automobile and secured him in handcuffs,” and sat him within the backseat of the officer’s patrol automobile, in keeping with the incident report.

Physique digital camera footage of the incident was just lately revealed and obtained from the police division by CNN. The footage confirmed that Barnes sat inside in a police car for practically half-hour after he was stopped.

5 different officers who had been additionally on patrol got here onto the scene and searched the car.  

“No downside if I search?” an officer asks Barnes within the video.   

“Yeah, go forward,” Barnes states, as police search his automobile.  

Within the bodycam footage, an officer is seen holding a sealed urn which he discovered throughout his search. The incident report states a brass object was found which was formed like a rifle spherical. “I’ve seen comparable objects like this earlier than utilized to comprise narcotics,” the officer wrote within the report.

“Then I checked for cocaine, nevertheless it seems prefer it’s most likely molly,” the officer says within the bodycam video to one in all his colleagues.

Within the video, police inform Barnes they discovered a substance in his automobile that examined constructive for medication, particularly ecstasy or meth. The substance was as a substitute the ashes of his deceased 2-year-old daughter, Ta’Naja Barnes, which had been saved in a sealed urn.

The brass object formed like a “rifle spherical” or a bullet is a generally used cremation urn necklace worn by people.

“No, no, no, bro. That is my daughter. What are y’all doing bro … give me that bro, that is my daughter,” Barnes says within the video when officers confirmed him the urn.

Police determined to not re-test the ashes and gave the urn again to Barnes’ father, who had arrived on the scene in a separate automobile.

“Widespread sense, although, man,” Barnes’ father is heard saying the video, concerning the contents of the urn.

Ashes had been ‘desecrated’

The lawsuit claims the officers “desecrated” his daughter’s ashes once they spilled a few of them in the course of the search.

Barnes’ daughter Ta’Naja was residing together with her mom, Twan’ka Davis, and her mom’s boyfriend earlier than her loss of life on February 11, 2019, and the Macon County Coroner’s Workplace discovered that Ta’Naja died because of neglect, hunger, dehydration and the chilly, in keeping with CNN affiliate WICS.
Davis and her boyfriend, Anthony Myers, had been sentenced to jail for his or her roles in her loss of life. Myers is serving 30 years in jail after he was discovered responsible of first-degree homicide, in keeping with WICS and court docket paperwork. Davis is serving 20 years in jail after pleading responsible to first-degree homicide, in keeping with WICS and court docket paperwork.

A trial on Barnes’ lawsuit in opposition to the town is scheduled for August 2022, in keeping with court docket paperwork.

In line with the lawsuit, Barnes is asking for “compensatory and punitive damages in an quantity to be decided at trial” together with lawyer’s charges, prices, and litigation bills and every other “aid because the Court docket might deem simply or equitable.” 

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