Jury Clears TPD in Suspect's Death

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Three-year-old Joshlynn Washington will never get a chance to really know her father. When she was just eight days old he died in police custody.

The 24-year-old's death was apparently the result of swallowing a bag of cocaine.

"She won't get to call her father's name or have that bond with her father. She doesn't have that support of a father, which every child needs," said Washington's longtime girlfriend Stacey Reddings.

In 2003 police pulled over Josh Washington for playing loud music. His family claims officers knew he swallowed cocaine and should have gotten medical attention after vomiting in a police car.

"It's been getting harder and harder. We've been going downhill, and to be honest I don't know what I'm going to do," said Sallie Washington.

What Washington's mother does do is continue with her life. Monday afternoon she was back to work hours after a jury cleared the Tallahassee Police Department of negligence.

"We're pleased with that outcome but at the same time we're saddened that events like this happen at all, particularly involving drugs," said Tallahassee Police Chief Walt McNeil.

Monday afternoon the family gathered at their home. Looking at Joshlynn playing in the yard, the family says her laughter still doesn't hide their pain.

"It's not over and I feel like justice will be served even though he's not here to talk for himself."

Reddings wiped tears from her eyes. She says it still hurts each and everyday.

"Until we've been heard we're not going to stop because I feel in my heart we need to put him to rest."

Officers claim Washington was never sick in their presence and denied swallowing any drugs.

Again, the jury agreed the police did nothing wrong. That's why the family and attorney plan to appeal the decision.