A Missouri court has ruled against police in a 2011 case involving a homeschooling family that was raided without a warrant, tasered, pepper sprayed, and relieved of their children.
The police raid was prompted by a social services workers requesting an investigation into the home because it was allegedly “messy.” The family complied with the first inspection, but objected when the social worker made a second visit.
Parents Jason and Laura Hagan were charged with child endangerment and resisting arrest after denying access to their home to a police raid team, led by Nodaway County Police Captain David Glidden, who demanded to be allowed inside without a warrant.
A complaint filed by the Missouri homeschool family, asserts Captain Glidden forced entry to their home, tased, pepper sprayed, and assaulted them.
“Glidden then turned to Jason, who was still standing, and shot him in the back with his Taser,” the legal document states.
Laura Hagan attempted to close the front door, at which point Captain David Glidden shot his Taser at the closing door, according to the formal complaint, which states Nodaway County Sheriff Darren White then became involved.
“Together they forced open the door and found Laura and Jason lying on the floor,” the complaint says.
It also alleges that the sheriff and captain “slapped Laura, knocking the glasses off of her face.”
The Nodaway County law enforcement officials then allegedly threatened to shoot the family dog, called Laura a “liar” and then threw a phone across the room before handcuffing the couple.
The entire ordeal reportedly took place in front of the three Hagan children, ages 8 to 12. The children remained in the custody of the state of Missouri for “months.”
In the criminal proceedings against them, the court announced this week, that the use of a taser and pepper spray on the couple violated the United States Constitution.
The judge tossed out all of the charges levied against the family saying, “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 Hagans have filed a civil lawsuit seeking punitive and compensatory damages, along with attorney fees against the Nodaway County Sheriffs Department.
The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is assisting the Hagans in the proceedings.
HSLDA attorney James Manson says the police raid team violated the families Fourth Amendment rights.
“We need to be vigilant. We need to be willing to stand up for our rights,” Manson said, adding that law enforcement officials need to be reminded that the “rules apply to them, too.”