Three police officers from Buffalo Township Police Department in Pennsylvania, USA are being sued by a local couple for allegedly wrongfully detaining them for four hours – on suspicion of growing marijuana in their backyard. Except it wasn’t marijuana at all. Just an innocent Hibiscus plant, the couple claim in a lawsuit.
The alleged nightmare for Audrey and Edward Cramer began on October 5 when an insurance agent visited their property to assess a damage claim and saw the hibiscus plant in their backyard. The agent reportedly took pictures of the plant believing it was marijuana and sent them to the police.
Two days later, local officers arrived at the couple’s doorstep, ransacked their home in search of the drug and handcuffed them for four hours in the back of a police car, according to Triblive.com. The Cramers, however, were not charged.
Now, they’re suing the insurance agent and three police officers in a civil lawsuit. The allegations are use of excessive force, false arrest, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress and invasion of privacy.
Wife Audrey says she suffered emotional trauma as she was taken out of her home in just her underwear. She also alleged that a dozen officers were pointing out assault rifles at her when she opened the door.
“I was not treated as though I was a human being, I was just something they were going to push aside. I asked them again if I could put pants on and he told me no and I had to stand out on the porch, ” Audrey Cramer told WPXI.
The complaint also states that Edward Cramer repeatedly tried showing the cops that the plant was indeed Hibiscus as it was in full bloom. It adds that one of the officers confiscated the plant despite not thinking it was marijuana and labelled it “tall, green, leafy, suspected marijuana plants, according to triblive.com.
The police department and the insurance company are yet to respond to the lawsuit.0