Kyeame v. Buchheit

Canadian man arrested and beaten by police during traffic stop in Centre County

Court/Assoc.: US Middle District

Attorneys/Firms: Spero T. Lappas (Serratelli Schiffman Brown & Calhoon); Witold Walczak, Valerie Burch (ACLU of PA)

A Canadian citizen who was traveling through Pennsylvania to attend a funeral in Maryland filed a federal lawsuit against a Pennsylvania State Police trooper over a traffic stop in Centre County that resulted in the man being beaten, jailed for three days, and then released after all charges were withdrawn.

On July 2, 2006, Kyeame and his wife were returning home to Brampton, Ontario, after attending a funeral in Maryland and were stopped by Buchheit for speeding near State College. When Buchheit demanded cash at the scene and Kyeame could not produce it, Kyeame asked if the trooper would accept a check or a credit card. Buchheit refused.

Once it became clear that Kyeame could not give cash on the spot, Buchheit pulled him from his vehicle, handcuffed one arm, and twisted his other arm "in a fashion which was intended to and which did cause...substantial pain." Buchheit then threw Kyeame to the ground and continued assaulting him.

Kyeame also states in the suit that, after Buchheit placed him in the trooper's car, Buchheit called him a "Canadian nigger" and told him to "pray very hard" that the situation would not turn "ugly."

Kyeame was charged with a speeding violation and resisting arrest and then spent three days in Centre County Prison. He was released on July 5 when all charges were dropped.

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