A police office in Illinois is under fire this week after it was reveal some “drugs” he found during a stop were actually the accused man’s deceased daughter’s ashes. The bizarre and upsetting story is yet the latest in a series of allegedly unlawful stops by officers over the years that seem to be targeting men of color. The officer, who was white, seemed determined to find the man at fault for something, a tale as old as time here in America.
Dartavius Barnes lost his daughter In February 2019. The girl, named Ta’Naja, was 2 years old at the time of her passing and had passed due to neglect and starvation from her mother. On the day he was stopped, Barnes had the urn containing Ta’Naja’s remains.
On April 6 2020, he was pulled over by police for allegedly speeding. Dartavius Barnes was not only stopped, but pulled out of the car and handcuffed. He was held in the officer’s custody while they searched his vehicle. Present with Barnes was his father, who watched along with his son horrified and police when through the car, eventually taking out the urn containing his deceased daughter. Body cam footage captured the entire interaction.
After a 20 minute search, the police then tested the urn for drugs, and reported back that they’d found 80 grams of weed and traces of ecstasy and meth in the urn full of ashes.
“No, no, no, bro, that’s my daughter,” Barnes pleaded when the officer brought the urn to show him what they’d found. “What y’all doing, bro? That’s my daughter!”
“Please give me my daughter, put her in my hand,” Barnes said.
The officer. eventually believed him handing the urn back over.
“I’m just going to give him a notice to appear on the weed,” the officer said to his partner
“Aside from p—ed-off dad and testing the dead baby ashes,” his partner replied.
Barnes is now suing the police department. Not only does he believe his being pulled over was unjust, but he also claims they desecrated his daughters remains and even spilled some out of the urn during their search.
According to The Insider: “Barnes is seeking compensatory damages and a trial by jury, which is set for August 2022.”