Lawsuit alleges Wisconsin teen, parents were threatened with jail by cops over COVID-19 Instagram posts

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APR 18, 2020

The lawsuit filed in federal court Thursday on behalf of Amyiah Cohoon and her parents, Richard and Angela, claims Marquette County Sheriff Joseph Konrath and a patrol sergeant violated the 16-year-old girl’s First and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

A 16-year-old high school sophomore alleged in a federal lawsuit against a Wisconsin sheriff on Thursday that she was threatened with jail if she didn’t remove social media posts saying she had COVID-19.

The Wisconsin Institute for Liberty and Law filed the lawsuit against Marquette County Sheriff Joseph Konrath and a patrol sergeant. The lawsuit alleges that the sergeant went to the home of Amyiah Cohoon of Oxford, Wisconsin, last month and demanded that her Instagram posts be deleted or she and her parents would face arrest.

No one was threatened with arrest, and an “aggressive defense” is planned, said Samuel Hall, attorney for the sheriff and the Marquette County Sheriff’s Department. Hall said the girl’s messages “caused distress and panic within the school system and law enforcement acted at the request of school health officials in a good faith effort to avoid unfounded panic.”

 

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