A Missouri homeschooling family is suing a sheriff and another officer who forcibly entered their home without a warrant, Tasered the father, pepper-sprayed the mother and put their children in the custody of social service workers.
A court already has ruled that the actions of Sheriff Darren White and Capt. David Glidden of Nodaway County, Missouri, violated the U.S. Constitution, resulting in the dismissal of charges of child endangerment and resisting arrest against the couple, Jason and Laura Hagan, of New Hampton.
The lawsuit, which seeks compensatory damages, punitive damages and attorneys costs and fees, was brought on behalf of the couple by the Home School Legal Defense Association, the world’s leading advocate for homeschooling families.
Attorney James Mason, senior counsel for HSLDA, told WND the Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure were added to the Constitution for a reason.
“We need to be vigilant,” he said. “We need to be willing to stand up for our rights.”
He said authorities sometimes need to be reminded that “rules apply to them, too.”
The complaint, filed Nov. 14, alleges the the officers came to the Hagan residence because a social worker was investigating a report of a messy home.
The case worker wanted to inspect a second time, and the Hagans refused, so she called Glidden and White.
Glidden first demanded to be allowed into the home and was denied permission. So, according to the complaint, he pepper-sprayed Jason and then Laura.
“Glidden then turned to Jason, who was still standing, and shot him in the back with his Taser,” the complaint said.
When Laura closed the front door, Glidden continued triggering the Taser through the closed door.
Then White joined in.
“Together they forced open the door and found Laura and Jason lying on the floor,” HSLDA said.
They “slapped Laura, knocking her glasses off of her face,” they threatened to shoot the family dog, they threw a telephone across the room, called Laura a “liar,” handcuffed the parents and threatened to let Jason fall down, according to the complaint.
It all took place in front of the three children, ages about 13, 10 and 8, who were taken into state custody, where they remained for months.
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