COLUMBUS, OHIO (CN) – The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department used excessive force in surrounding an Amish schoolhouse with a SWAT team “with automatic guns drawn and ready for engagement” to enforce a routine change of custody order, 33 Amish parents and children say in a $35 million demand in Federal Court.
The deputies “induced fear and panic” in the Amish kids, who fled to the schoolhouse in terror as the armed deputies surrounded it, the complaint states.
The alleged unconstitutional abuses and assault occurred on Sept. 14, 2007.
The sheriff’s deputies also allegedly surrounded the store and house of plaintiff Samuel Mullet, also with a SWAT team with weapons drawn, because of a custody order involving two children.
The Amish say their children were illegally imprisoned in the school during the armed assault.
The Amish, who are renowned for their pacifism, nonviolence and simple way of life, are represented by Juan Jose Perez.