DELAWARE, Ohio (WCMH) – A civil lawsuit filed against the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office alleges racial discrimination against a man who was arrested on a handgun charge during a 2019 traffic stop.

According to the lawsuit, released Tuesday and filed with the U.S. District Court Southern District of Ohio, Keith Ameyaw, of Spring Lake, North Carolina, was driving on U.S. 23 during the day on his way from Michigan to Georgia.

He was pulled over by Delaware County Sheriff’s Deputy Jesse Rodriguez Lipps, who initially reported he did not see a visible license plate on Ameyaw’s car, a white Porsche, court documents state.

The lawsuit alleged that once Lipps got out of his cruiser, he was able to see the license plate, at which point the lawsuit said the traffic stop should have immediately stopped. Lipps approached Ameyaw and asked for license, registration, and proof of insurance.

“Lipps went so far in his report to note when he asked Plaintiff for his license, Plaintiff ‘picked up a black fur coat off the passenger seat and reached into a designed bag looking for his wallet,’” the lawsuit stated.

A K-9 unit was summoned and the dog indicated that it had located narcotics, the lawsuit said. Ameyaw was taken into custody and placed in the sheriff’s cruiser while deputies searched his vehicle. Ameyaw was questioned without being advised of his rights, the lawsuit alleged.

The lawsuit said no drugs were found in the Porsche, but during the search, deputies found a concealed handgun, which Ameyaw said he had a license for out of Georgia.

“Lipps confirmed Plaintiff had a carry concealed license however, without any legal right to do so, he still charged him and took him to jail,” the lawsuit stated, adding Ameyaw was charged with improper handling of a firearm, a first-degree misdemeanor. Ameyaw spent one day in jail.

The lawsuit said that on June 26, 2020, the prosecutor dismissed the charge.

The lawsuit said at the time of his arrest, Ameyaw was scheduled to be promoted in the Army but that promotion was delayed due to the arrest.

The lawsuit names Lipps, Delaware County, the Delaware County commissioners, and Delaware County Sheriff Russell Martin as defendants.

A request for comment from the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office has not yet been returned.

The lawsuit is asking for $75,000 plus punitive damages, court costs, and attorney fees.