Kansas to pay $67K in lawsuit over Coloradan’s traffic stop
TOPEKA, KAN.» The state has agreed to settle for roughly $67,000 a 5-yearold lawsuit by a man who said he was stopped illegally and detained by a state trooper.
Peter Vasquez told the Topeka Capital-Journal he’s happy his litigation over the December 2011 stop is ending.
“It’s about accountability,” he told the newspaper.
Vasquez says he was stopped by a Kansas Highway Patrol trooper in December 2011 in Wabaunsee County and was issued a warning but refused the trooper’s request to have his vehicle searched after Vasquez insisted there were no drugs in it.
Court documents show that Vasquez, who was driving a vehicle registered in Colorado, was detained on suspicion of criminal activity, although a search of his vehicle found nothing illegal.
Vasquez sued in February 2012, alleging he was searched and detained without reasonable suspicion. A federal appeals court last year overturned a lower court’s decision to dismiss the case. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals said the officer’s reasoning would justify the search of citizens from more than half of the states in the country.
The U.S. Supreme Court denied the state’s request to hear the matter.
A spokesman for the Kansas attorney general’s office declined to discuss the case Wednesday.