Springfield, Illinois, resident Dar’tavius Barnes has filed a lawsuit against the City of Springfield, claiming his vehicle was unlawfully searched during traffic stop in the city. Barnes was pulled over for speeding moments after reports of “shots fired” in the neighborhood.
Barnes goes to court and says that police officers handcuffed him and put him in the back of their patrol car while they searched his car without his permission, probable cause, or a valid warrant.
Barnes says that police took an urn that was sealed with his daughter’s ashes, opened it without his permission, and then dumped the ashes out. The police say this was a normal search of the vehicle.
The D*eath of Ta’Naja Barnes
Barnes’ daughter, 2-year-old Ta’Naja Barnes was found unresponsive in her Decatur, IL home in 2019. She was pronounced dead at a Decatur hospital. Ta’Naja’s mother and her boyfriend were later arrested in the toddler’s de*ath.
The toddler died after months of neglect and abuse from the pair. CPS was involved with the family, yet the child still died.
The child’s mother, T’wanka Davis, is in prison for 20 years for ki*lling the child. Anthony Myers, Davis’s boyfriend, was given 30 years in prison. Myers has asked for his sentence to be changed.
Barnes filed the lawsuit against The City of Springfield in October 2020.
Body Cam Footage
The news station WCHST got footage from the officers’ body cameras that showed them holding the bullet-shaped urn. It sounds like Barnes said, “Please give me my daughter, put her in my hand.” The police then put Barnes in handcuffs and put him in the back of their car.
Barnes told the police that he had pot in his car. On the video, you can hear him telling the officer that they can search his car. The police found d*rugs they thought were ecstasy or meth. The police then used a dr*ug test kit to see if the substance was cocaine. On the video, you can hear one of the officers say that he thought it was “Molly,” and another say that it was “X pills.” The box was Ta’Naja’s urn, which held her body.
A police officer told Barnes that the container had meth of ecstasy in it. Barnes isn’t sure what they found and asks to see it. The police officer showed Barned the urn. He responded right away by saying, “No, that’s my daughter,” and then he reached for the urn.
“This is his daughter’s ashes that Reibeling thought tested positive for meth,” the officer stated.
When Barnes’ father arrived from up the street, the police gave him the urn.
After 21 minutes, he was let go with a notice to appear in court for the marijuana. At the end of the video, you can hear the other officers making fun of the one who thought the cremains were dr*ugs.
I’m Rambling About The Case
A few times in my life, I’ve seen cocaine, and when my grandmother was cremated, I saw her ashes. Don’t look the same.
I must say that someone told me what “meth” was because I’ve only ever seen it once and thought it was crack cocaine. It felt like “shards of glass” to me, and someone told me it was meth… So even though I haven’t trained myself, I can tell the difference between meth I’ve seen once and ashes, but the boys in blue can’t? Wow, amazing.
Always think negatively about others and put themselves down, like this time.
Mr. Barnes, good luck with your case. I’m so sorry about the de*ath of your daughter and the BS the police gave you over some weed.