Family claims funeral protest was 'illegal'
July 2 protest.
In 2006, Barnes was convicted of killing 2-year-old Avery Nicole King outside the McDonald’s restaurant on U.S. Highway 278, an event which devastated the King and Casola families. He died on June 24 and the King and Casola families protested outside of his funeral on July 2 at Westview Cemetery.
After a month of unanswered inquiries into the protest and the CPD’s actions, Manetta BarnesClemons, Barne's sister, decided she would finally bring the issue directly be- fore the city’s leaders.
“We therefore still stand before you today with no report, no justice, no arrests. A grieving family allowed to be harassed, embarrassed, disrespected, violated and left with feelings of extreme mental anguish as officers of the law watched and stood guard protecting those committing criminal acts against us,” Clemons said.
Clemons listed 10 violations of state and local ordinances in her speech, including protesting within 500 feet of a funeral, using signs that conveyed fight- ing words, desecration of a grave site and tampering with evidence. The last two violations dealt with protest signs being placed on Barnes’ grave after the funeral and the police removing and later destroying those signs.
She said that both the police department and district attorney have said no crimes or laws were broken.
District Attorney Ken Wynne said he reviewed all of Clemons’ initial allegations, and he did indeed find that no laws had been