Shauna Renno's daughter 14-month-old daughter died in late December of 2006, and a few days later she and the girl's father were in Independence, trying to bury their daughter.
But according to a lawsuit filed by Renno, and unearthed by the Star's Tony Rizzo, two Kansas City police officers barreled into the funeral, shoved the baby's father into a mound of dirt, mistakenly detained him, delayed the funeral and said the couple's daughter was "better off dead with parents like them."
The lawsuit (which you can download here) was filed in Jackson County but moved to federal court. It accuses two officers, Michael Sartain and Ryan Bonner, of ignoring police-conduct rules, intentionally inflicting emotional stress, and generally being all-around dicks. It also names the KCMO board of police commissioners, two unnamed Independence police officers and the city of Independence.
The incident appears to have happened on December 22, 2006 (although the lawsuit later says it was in 2007.) Renno was attending the funeral of her daughter, Kaylee, at Mount Washington Forever Funeral Home and Cemetery in Independence, along with her fiancee, Mark Zahnd, who was the girl's father, .
As they tried to dump dirt onto their daughter's casket, the two officers approached the grave site and shoved Zahnd into the dirt, the lawsuit contends. They then handcuffed Zahnd, thinking they were arresting Renno's brother, James Renno.
Despite please from the family and funeral home director -- who told the cops they were arresting the wrong guy -- they kept Zahnd in cuffs and refused to let him return to the funeral until he helped locate and arrest Renno, the lawsuit alleges. In the meantime, it says, the cops said they "didn't care about their daughter ... dying by 'wrapping around a pole.'"
The lawsuit also accuses the police department of not properly training officers to conduct themselves during funerals. It asks for at least $150,000 in damages.
The police board asked a judge to dismiss the case against them, while the two officers denied the allegations. No trial date has been set.