A report published last night on World Net Daily outlines the shocking details of a warrantless raid on a Missouri homeschooling family by a SWAT Team that forced its way into the family’s home, Tasered the father, pepper-sprayed the mother and put their children in the custody of social service workers.
Jason and Laura Hagan, of New Hampton. have filed a lawsuit against Capt. David Glidden of Nodaway County, Missouri as a result of the raid. The lawsuit seeks compensatory damages, punitive damages, as well as attorneys costs and fees, and was brought on behalf of the couple by the Home School Legal Defense Association. A court has already ruled the raid was a violation of the family’s constitutional rights.
According to the report, attorney James Mason, senior counsel for HSLDA, told World Net Daily the Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure were added to the Constitution for a reason.
“We need to be vigilant,” Mason 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 lawsuit alleges that 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 the home a second time, but 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,” according to the complaint.
When Laura closed the front door, Glidden continued triggering the Taser through the closed door. Then White joined in the attack. “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.”
The entire assault occurred in the presence of the three children, aged 13, 10 and 8. The children were taken into state custody, where they remained for months. After allegations made by social workers and the officers against the couple reached court, a judge summarily tossed the case.
“The court will not allow [an] exception to sanction warrantless entry into a private residence by pepper spray and Taser. If the officer had a warrant in hand and such force was necessary, that is a different story, but those are not the facts of this case,” the judge said
The judge also ruled that all evidence and information the officers obtained was disallowed due to the fact that the officers entered the home without a warrant.
“The state has not offered sufficient, if indeed any, evidence of an exception that would justify a warrantless entry,” the judge said.
“The Fourth Amendment strikes a carefully crafted balance between a family’s right to privacy and the government’s need to enforce the law,” the HSLDA wrote in its report. “In most situations, government agents cannot simply force their way into a home. Instead, they must explain to a neutral magistrate why they need to enter the home, and they must provide real evidence to support that need.”
“This rule applies to all government agents,” the report states. “Court after court has agreed that there is no social services exception to the Fourth Amendment.”
The report went on to say: “All too often, law enforcement officers and child-welfare workers act as if the Fourth Amendment does not apply to CPS investigations. They are wrong. The Fourth Amendment is a legal shield that protects people from exactly the kind of mistreatment the Hagans endured.”