Mother files lawsuit after daughter's wrongful arrest
COLUMBIA - Kandas Holmes-Barnes's has sued Columbia Public Schools and Columbia Police Department after her daughter, A.B., was wrongfully arrested during a fight at Smithton Middle School in January 2019.
"I have to be my children's voice and I have to stand my ground," Holmes-Barnes said.
Holmes-Barnes's lawsuit alleges her daughter was falsely arrested and detained overnight after claims from teachers and the school principal.
She filed the lawsuit herself and is currently not represented by an attorney. Holmes-Barnes said she was previously working with Chapel Law Group, but is now actively looking for a new lawyer who she feels understands her case.
The petition for damages states A.B. was racially profiled, bullied and was a victim of hate crimes. She attempted suicide multiple times and deals with emotional distress.
Holmes-Barnes is requesting a $2.4 million dollar settlement from the school district and police department.
"I feel like that is enough to ask for $2.4 million dollars," she said. "Even then, I don't think that is enough [money]."
Back in September 2019, Columbia Police Chief Geoff Jones said an investigation into the incident was "not thorough."
Holmes-Barnes told KOMU 8 she was in mediation with CPS; however, she said the district refuses to continue mediation until she gets an attorney.
KOMU 8 reached out to CPS and CPD for a comment on the lawsuit. Both said they cannot comment on the lawsuit at this time.