Lawsuit: Kansas Highway Patrol targets out-of-state drivers

A lawsuit filed by two Oklahoma brothers accuses the Kansas Highway Patrol of violating their constitutional rights. A study found 93% of traffic stops involved cars with out-of-state plates.


State News

January 31, 2020 - 5:42 PM

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Ninety-three percent of the Kansas Highway Patrol’s traffic stops in 2017 involved cars with out-of-state plates, according to a lawsuit challenging the practice as an infringement on motorists’ constitutional rights.

In an amended lawsuit filed Thursday on behalf of three plaintiffs, including two Oklahoma brothers who initially filed the complaint, the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas and a Kansas City, Missouri, law firm contend that the traffic stop statistics show that the Kansas Highway Patrol specifically targets out-of-state drivers, including many on the main highway connecting Kansas with neighboring Colorado, because that state’s legalized marijuana.

The case began as a hand-scrawled complaint filed last December by the two irate brothers, but it got significant legal backing when the ACLU and the law firm, Spencer Fane LLP, joined their cause. The lawsuit, which lists the Kansas Highway Patrol, its superintendent Herman Jones, and two troopers as defendants, argues that specifically targeting out-of-state drivers infringes on such drivers’ constitutional protection from illegal searches and seizures.

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