"If you're gonna enforce an old law that helps nobody, the least you can do is know the compound that's illegal"
An elderly couple in Pennsylvania is suing their insurance company and their local police after they were allegedly arrested and mistreated after their hibiscus plants were wrongly reported as marijuana plants.
Edward Cramer, 69, and his wife Audrey, 66, from Buffalo Township, allege they were handcuffed and forced to sit in a hot police car for hours last month aft arrived looking for drugs.
The couple are suing the Buffalo Township police and the Nationwide Insurance Company over the incident, claiming excessive force, false arrest, false imprisonment, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional stress over the incident, according to thePittsburgh Tribune-Review.
The incident occurred after a neighbour’s tree fell onto the couple’s property in September. When a member of the insurance company came to assess the damage on the property, he took photos of the hibiscus plant and, believing them to be marijuana plants, sent them to police.
Days later officers arrived at the couple’s home with a search warrant. Ms Cramer was half dressed when she answered the door and claims she was handcuffed and forced into a police car without being allowed to put on a pair of trousers.
Mr Cramer repeatedly told the police the plants were hibiscus plants, indicating the blooming flowers on them, according to the complaint, FoxNews reported.
The couple allege in the suit that sergeant Scott Hess, who was at their home, did not himself believe the plants were illegal but bagged them up with a label reading: “tall, green, leafy, suspected marijuana plants”. Describing being forced outside of her home in her underwear, she said: “And that’s when I asked them again if I could put pants on. And he told me ‘no’, I had to stand out on the porch,” she added. “Sometimes I think they look for crime where it doesn’t exist in order to justify their existence,” Mr Cramer told the channel.
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