Teen Sues Sheriff For Allegedly Threatening To Arrest Her Over COVID-19 Post

Holly Matkin

Amyiah Cohoon and her parents filed a federal lawsuit against the Marquette County Sheriff’s Department on April 16.

Madison, WI – The family of a Wisconsin teen who posted a photo claiming she had beaten COVID-19 after traveling to Florida for spring break is suing the local sheriff’s office for allegedly violating her First Amendment rights by ordering her to remove her social media posts.

Sixteen-year-old sophomore Amyiah Cohoon and her parents, Richard and Angela, filed the lawsuit in Green Bay Federal Court on April 16, FOX News reported.

According to the lawsuit, Amyiah traveled to Universal Studios and Disney World with her high school band class on March 7, just as the novel coronavirus was beginning to spread in the United States, the New York Post reported.

She returned home on March 15, and began suffering from a dry cough and fever five days later.

By March 22, the teen was having difficulty breathing, so her mother took her to the Divine Savior Hospital emergency room, the New York Post reported.

Although her symptoms were consistent with COVID-19, she did not meet the criteria to qualify for testing due to the scarce number of tests available at the time, according to the lawsuit.

Amyiah and her parents were told to self-quarantine at home, and the teen was given an inhaler to help ease her breathing difficulties, the New York Post reported.

But her symptoms got even worse on March 25, at which point she was transported to UW Children’s Hospital by ambulance.

According to the lawsuit, Amyiah tested negative for COVID-19 that day, but doctors said she probably “missed the window” for testing positive, the New York Post reported.

After being released from the hospital the following day, the teen posted a selfie of her wearing a hospital mask to Instagram.

“I am finally home after being hospitalized for a day and a half,” she captioned the photo, according to FOX News. “I am still on breathing treatment but have beaten the coronavirus. Stay home and be safe.”

Amyiah also made two earlier posts about her illness, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

In one message, she said she wouldn’t be back for a while because she had contracted the novel coronavirus. In the second message, she mentioned that she might have to remain at the emergency room, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

According to the lawsuit, Marquette County Sheriff’s Department (MCSD) Sergeant Cameron Klump went to the family’s residence on March 27 and threatened to “start taking people to jail” for disorderly conduct if Amyiah did not delete her social media posts, according to the New York Post.

In an incident report, Sgt. Klump documented that he delivered the message at the direction of Marquette County Sheriff Joseph Konrath.

“Sheriff Konrath advised me he wished for me to respond to the residence and have the post removed from her social media,” the sergeant’s report read.

Amyiah deleted two of the posts, and a third post deleted automatically after 24 hours, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The family is seeking a declaration confirming that Amyiah’s posts were protected free speech, as well as nominal damages, the New York Post reported.

“The First Amendment’s protection of speech, especially online speech, is as vital as ever during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” the lawsuit read. “This case is about preserving the right to share our experiences with each other during this difficult time.”

Samuel Hall, the attorney representing Sheriff Konrath and the MCSD, denied allegations that Sgt. Klump threatened to arrest anyone over the social media post, FOX News reported.

Hall said that Amyiah’s posts “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.”

He said he plans to counter the lawsuit with an “aggressive defense,” FOX News reported.

According to Westfield School District Administrator Bob Meicher, there was “no truth” to claims that any local students contracted COVID-19 during the band trip to Florida, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

“This was a foolish means to get attention and the source of the rumor has been addressed,” Meicher said in an update to parents and guardians. “This rumor had caught the attention of our Public Health Department and she was involved in putting a stop to this nonsense. In times like this, the last thing we need out there is misinformation.”

Hall argued that the teen’s messages were not protected by the First Amendment in this case, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

"This case is nothing more than a 2020 version of screaming fire in a crowded theater," he declared. "It is unfortunate that the plaintiff brings this lawsuit now, while law enforcement should be able to focus solely on the public health crisis that we currently face. However, we plan to mount an aggressive defense to this lawsuit.”

As of Tuesday, 4,499 Wisconsin residents had tested positive for coronavirus, and 230 have died, according to Bing’s COVID-19 Tracker.

Comments (80)
No. 1-15
ManBearPig
ManBearPig

Police overreach again. The school and police will have to pay up.

Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

There are two sides to every story, and

Samuel Hall, the attorney representing Sheriff Konrath and the MCSD, denied allegations that Sgt. Klump threatened to arrest anyone over the social media post

Even if he did, is threatening arrest a crime? I would think only unlawful arrest or harassment would be.

You can't really tell what happened. It seems that he strongly suggested to take the posts down because people were getting alarmed and he thought the posts were false, and they refused and then filed a lawsuit.

That's probably all I have to say about that, so I will posts some COVID and other memes in the replies now.

Cop Watch
Cop Watch

"This case is nothing more than a 2020 version of screaming fire in a crowded theater," he declared. "It is unfortunate that the plaintiff brings this lawsuit now, while law enforcement should be able to focus solely on the public health crisis that we currently face. However, we plan to mount an aggressive defense to this lawsuit.”

how do you plan to defend yourself against violating this girls rights? when you criminalize free speech, you are the TYRANT! it is funny that the one cop threw his boss under the bus. guess he didn't agree with the order to go to the girls house! but as an order follower he went anyway......

Trueferblue
Trueferblue

"FIRE IN A CROWDED THEATRE"? I SUPPOSE THESE PEOPLE ALSO CLAIM JEWS WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE HOLOCAUST.

Sgvette
Sgvette

Blue why do you allow these idiots to post here?

James bond4010
James bond4010

This epidemic is getting out of hand day by day. A few days ago my friend's father caught it and that day He died at night. We all need to be vigilant now to stay healthy. https://www.travelclinicny.com/articles/Dengue-fever-facts.html

Brasov04cluj
Brasov04cluj

COMMIENAZI'S INFILTRATING L.E. Agencies. THE U.S. SUPREME Court RULED IN 2010 SPEECH that CAUSES IMAGINED or ACTUAL "FELT" PAIN....IS STILL PROTECTED BY THE " FREE SPEECH" CLAUSE OF THE 1ST. AMENDNENT. FIRE THE COMMIE Officer AND the Individual's RESPONSIBLE for the Directive..l

186
186

i see Jim H with his extensive law experience has never heard of federal statute, 42 U.S.C. § 1983,

BrevardMarc27
BrevardMarc27

It’s time to hold a settlement conference. The only issue at this time is ,,, was there a threat or not?

If there was, skip all the Bullshtein and get the agency to put the money on the table. It will only get worse for the agency to drag this out. Learn from it.

Cut your f*cking losses, give this family a fair settlement for the harm done and get on with the business of enforcing laws and protecting the Constitution of this Great Republic, not politics.

XIHP308
XIHP308

Once again taxpayers will pay for the incompetence of government officials. It's not the duty of an officer to follow an unlawful order.

MarineDoc
MarineDoc

Attention whores.

CrybabyDemoLibTard
CrybabyDemoLibTard

No, this is a perfect example of over reach by the schools, who think they can do whatever they want with impunity. And then they recruit some dumbass elected official to help them. This girl forgot to include someone else in this suit; the school district.

DR226
DR226

Well all they have to do is test and if anti bodies exist, then Madison pay up, you lose. And it starts with the health department.

Trueferblue
Trueferblue

TO ALL THE STUPID ETIQUETTE POLICE ON HERE: YOU'LL HAVE TO REPLY IN CAPS BECAUSE I'M HARD OF HEARING. BWAAHAAHAA!

Trueferblue
Trueferblue

I'M SORRY. YOU KEEP REPLYING TO ME LIKE YOU BELIEVE I'M ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE YOU KNOW WHO ACTUALLY GIVES A FUCK AS TO WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY. I'M NOT AND I DON'T GIVE A FUCK. (i'm whispering now. is this better for you, snowflake? good. I'm glad you're happy now. maybe you can move on and troll someone who actually thinks your relative and as important as you yourself believe you are. good luck, sugar. you'll need it with that smart-ass attitude you have.) NEXT TIME YOU RESPOND, AND I KNOW YOU WILL, PLEASE USE CAPS AND BOLD LETTERS BECAUSE I'M REALLY HARD OF HEARING! ALSO, WHY DOES YOUR BOSS REQUIRE YOU TO "SHOUT" YOUR CAD REPORTS. YOU SHOULD DEFINETLY RAISE HELL ABOUT THAT!


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