16-year-old girl threatened with arrest as police say her Covid posts on Instagram cause ‘panic’ – .

16-year-old girl threatened with arrest as police say her Covid posts on Instagram cause ‘panic’ – .

A teenage girl who has been threatened with jail after posting about Covid on social media has won a lawsuit for her right to free speech.
Amyiah Cohoon returned home from hospital in March 2020, after being treated for fever and difficulty breathing, and posted on Instagram that she had Covid.

“Hey guys… sorry I took a long break.” I won’t be coming back for long because of me [now] having the Covid-19 virus, ”she wrote.

No cases had been recorded in his county of Wisconsin at the time, reports the Washington Post, and “concerned citizens” started calling local authorities.

A sheriff’s sergeant came to his family and told Mrs Cohoon’s father: “If [the post] don’t come down, the sheriff ordered me to issue citations for disorderly conduct, if not to start taking people to jail, ”the dash-cam video showed. “Because it disturbs the public. “

Although the post was abolished, Ms Cohoon’s family filed a federal complaint against the threat the following month, against the sheriff’s office.

A federal judge ruled on Friday that the sheriff’s office violated Ms Cohoon’s right to free speech, whether or not she contracted Covid.

Ms Cohoon had fallen with a fever and cough and began to have difficulty breathing, court records show. She was diagnosed with an ‘acute upper respiratory infection’, and although doctors said her symptoms matched those of Covid, she was not eligible to be tested for the virus.

US District Judge Brett Ludwig said in his ruling that accepting the sheriff’s argument for the arrest of the 16-year-old girl – whom police accused of causing anxiety and “panic” through his messages – “would overrule” First Amendment protections. Mr. Ludwig added that these protections apply “in times of tranquility and in times of conflict”.

Lawyer Luke Berg, who represented Ms Cohoon, told the Washington Post : « It’s a very strong statement… that cops can’t control social media. ”


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