Police: Man had permit to carry dead son to private cemetery

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MILLERSVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) — The Millersville Police Department will institute policy changes after an officer pulled over a vehicle with a dead child in the trunk.

Millersville Police Chief David Hindman said an officer pulled over a vehicle on Interstate 65 Wednesday afternoon because the temporary tags were unreadable.

The driver presented a Saudi driver’s license and told the officer he had a deceased baby in his trunk that he was transporting for a proper Muslim burial.

The officer asked to see the child, but the driver refused and told him it was against his religion. The officer then let the driver go.

When the officer reported the incident to superiors, they put out the word for neighboring agencies to be on the lookout.

Hindman said the officer will not be suspended and he will be disciplined according to policy and procedure.

At a news conference Thursday, Hindman said the father and two relatives were carrying a dead fetus to a private Muslim cemetery in Franklin, Tenn. The father had a permit from the coroner allowing him to do this.

“You have to understand this is a one in a million incident,” Hindman said. “In my 30 years of law enforcement, I have never seen or heard of something like this happening.”

Hindman added that the father tried to show the permit to the officer, but the language barrier made that difficult.

Hindman reiterated that this was a mistake and the officer should have asked to see the body and called a supervisor. The incident will also lead to additional training and policy changes for the entire police department.

Hindman added that police sometimes overlook when people have driver’s licenses from other countries as the law isn’t black and white in that area.