Edward Cramer, 69 and his wife Audrey, 66 Takes Case to Federal Court
BUFFALO TOWNSHIP, Pa. – The couple who filed a lawsuit after they were arrested last October when the police had mistaken their hibiscus plants for cannabis is now in federal court. Edward Cramer, 69 and his wife Audrey, 66 were detained inside a hot police car after police officers with automatic weapons searched their home and found several hibiscus plants.
Audrey, who was only partly dressed and was not wearing any pants when the officers arrived with guns drawn, told the authorities repeatedly that they were mistaken and that the plants were indeed hibiscus plants. She was placed in a squad car without pants. When her husband arrived home in the mist of the search, he was greeted with officers pointing guns at him as he also told the officers that the plants were hibiscus. The couple was detained for almost 5 hours in the car.
The Cramers filed a lawsuit claiming that the officers violated their civil rights by using excessive force. The lawsuit also alleges, false arrest and imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, as well as invasion of privacy. There is no word if the lawsuit also claims incompetence. Sgt. Scott Hess refused to listen to the couple while he insisted that the plants were marijuana and claimed to be an expert. The hibiscus plants were in bloom.
The lawsuit was filed last November in Butler County Court against the Buffalo Township Police Department and Nationwide Mutual Insurance. Buffalo Township sent three police officers to the federal court on behalf of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. Nationwide tried to cancel the Cramers insurance after police already knew they had been mistaken, claiming that unless they moved the drugs from the residence their insurance policy would be canceled. I guess Nationwide is not on your side.