Rohnert Park city leaders are set to vote Tuesday on two settlement agreements with eight men who sued the city over hundreds of pounds of marijuana and $55,000 they say was unlawfully seized during traffic stops.
Huedell Freeman, a cannabis cultivator based in Mendocino who said Rohnert Park police officers took 47 pounds of his legal product, will receive $287,500. Seven other drivers who jointly filed suit against the city will split a $1,175,000 settlement. In August, the city settled with a Texas-based man named Zeke Flatten for $415,000.
“The case has conditionally resolved to the mutual satisfaction of the parties,” was all the plaintiffs’ attorney Izaak Schwaiger would say about the case.
Rohnert Park Assistant City Manager Don Schwartz wrote in an email that the settlements are in the best interests of the city, as they are less costly than continued litigation, but do not indicate liability or responsibility on the city's part.
KQED first reported on this pattern of suspicious seizures in 2018 after several drivers came forward with corresponding stories alleging that Rohnert Park police officers pulled them over 40 miles north of their jurisdiction for the purpose of taking their cash or marijuana.