Archive for Virginia Cop Block

Guest Post: Attorney Tom Roberts “Constitutional Liberties Matter!”

“Constitutional Liberties Matter!

I didn’t think a police officer would silence criticism using a lawsuit – but that didn’t seem to stop one from filing a $1.35 Million lawsuit. If not for a Virginia civil rights law firm standing up and protecting the liberties guaranteed by the 1st Amendment, the suit would have silenced one citizen’s criticism, chilled the speech and rights of others and made all our lives more dangerous.

Nathan Cox, an Army veteran of the Iraq War and law enforcement accountability advocate, attempted to exercise his First Amendment right to video tape a simple traffic-stop. He was pulled over and then charged for not displaying a license plate on the front of his vehicle in addition to another non-moving vehicle violation.

What followed rises to the level of absurd.  The Virginia State Trooper did not want to be in the news or subject to public scrutiny.  After Nathan Cox posted video of the stop on the internet with comments, the trooper filed a lawsuit against him for defamation.  But she didn’t even show up for court, so the case was dismissed.  The harassment from the Trooper didn’t stop there. She appealed the dismissal and then dropped the action— only to file another suit in the Circuit Court, and instead of suing for $5,000 as she did the first time, she sued for $1.35 Million. This was an almost 27,000% increase in alleged damages.

Nathan Cox, without any ability to pay for a defense, asked the Virginia civil rights law firm of Thomas H. Roberts & Associates, P.C. to defend him and the 1st Amendment to the Constitution.  This is the same law firm that recently won in the United States 4th Circuit Court of Appeals the case protecting police officers’ rights to criticize policies of police departments on Facebook which they believed endangered officers’ and citizens’ safety–Liverman v. City of Petersburg.  This is the third time that the law firm has successfully defended Nathan Cox’s 1st Amendment rights.

In evidence obtained by Nathan through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Trooper’s own equipment recorded her admitting that she “didn’t want to be on YouTube or whatever.” This belied her claims in her lawsuit that she thought Nathan’s recording cell phone was a gun—it was obvious Nathan Cox was video-recording the interaction with his cell phone.  The law firm defended Nathan on grounds the Trooper’s suit was procedurally deficient and the statements were not defamatory and were protected speech under the 1st Amendment to the United States Constitution.

After hours and hours of legal work, multiple motions, discovery and multiple court hearings the court rejected all the Trooper’s claims against Nathan Cox and dismissed the lawsuit.  The case is McKenney v. Cox, in Hanover County Circuit Court, Virginia.

Nathan Cox now lives in Brevard County Florida with his newlywed wife.  He is doing his best to pay for the legal fees from his job providing local pet care services.

Freedom Works Foundation has created this Go Fund Me page to give this newlywed a chance to start his new life with his beautiful wife without the staggering weight of the legal bill over his head and to give you a chance to stand with Nathan to defend liberty.

A simple act can help secure freedom, protect free speech guaranteed under the 1st Amendment to the United States Constitution – and would be an amazing gift to these newlyweds.

Any funds received in excess of the legal bill will be used by Freedom Works Foundation, a Virginia non-profit organization, to defend liberties in similar cases, liberties for which our brave men and women have given so much to protect–liberties officers are sworn to protect!  Your gift will be used to fight on the front lines the battle to defend liberty from enemies within who would destroy liberties like Free Speech guaranteed by the 1st Amendment.

Thank you for being willing to touch a life, to stand with Nathan Cox and Freedom Works Foundation, to make a difference, to give freedom a chance, to make Freedom Work!

$1.35M Defamation Lawsuit Against VA Cop Block Founder: Final Outcome

For those who’ve been following the Civil Lawsuit Saga that I have been dealing with, in which Virginia State Trooper Melanie McKenney filed a defamation suit against me which all transpired from a traffic stop she initiated back in 2012 – I have your most recent update!

September 8th, of this 2016, my attorney Jonathan Arthur, an associate over at Thomas Roberts & Associates was in court to deal with the one final claim against me. I will take a moment to remind you that the last time we were in court over this ordeal, was on November 6th, 2015. You can find the filed complaint against me, the pleadings my attorney responded with AND the most recent opinion the Judge issued after that November 6th court date, here. I digress.

The results are in from the September 8th 2016 hearing!

Please check out Thomas Roberts‘ excellent write up regarding the outcome of the case here. Mr. Roberts is a founder and the principal member of the firm of Thomas H. Roberts & Associates, P.C. I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend Jonathan Arthur or anyone else at the firm for legal matters and most especially civil rights/ Constitutional situations!

I am in great need of donations for my legal defense. Please consider making a donation here. If you prefer your donations to be in the form of Bitcoin, send a message to the VA Cop Block Facebook Page letting us know.

For anyone interested in reading some other articles written about this situation, Check out the Fox News Article, DailyMail Article, Photography is Not a Crime ArticleRichmond’s NBC12 Article.

Guest Post: Ahead of Election: Spotsylvania Corruption

Important Elections are taking place statewide in Virginia on Tuesday. A Virginia Resident has submitted a Press Release to Virginia Cop Block to help raise awareness about her concerns with the politics and public servants that are up for re-election in Spotyslvania County.

Guest Post By: Catherine Crabill

Contact: Catherine Crabill
CCrabill@Verizon.net
(804) 436-6701

PRESS RELEASE

 

(Images retained from Google)

(Images retained from Google)

“Team” William F. Neely and Harris, caught covering up perjury.

It’s true as stated in a letter to the editor of the Free Lance Star by Suzanne Mears “The upcoming election for commonwealth’s attorney and sheriff in Spotsylvania County is an important one”… “Factual information is needed.”

Neely and Harris are a “Team” alright.  They have teamed up to allow the use and cover up of testilying, “police perjury” in Spotsylvania County.  The use of perjury by officers to get convictions is so prevalent it has been given the name, testilying.  It is prevalent throughout the country, look it up on line.

In Circuit Court William F. Neely used the perjured testimony of 1st Sargent Barbara Harvey to get convictions on false charges against Herb Lux for passing out a flyer and putting up a web site WilliamFNeely.info for attempting to expose the perjury and withholding evidence Neely committed against his son Matthew Lux.

In September 2014 there were 15 Felony Warrants of Arrest asked to be heard and issued against William F. Neely and 17 Felony Warrants against 1st Sargent Harvey which were committed in bringing and prosecuting the false charges against Herb Lux.  They both face more than 100 years of incarceration if found guilty on all the Warrants.

Judge Beverly W. Snukals was designated by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia on September 10, 2014, Case No. CM14-1466, to hear the complaints against Neely and Harvey.

Sheriff Harris was given the information proving the perjury committed by 1st Sargent Barbara Harvey but failed to take any action against her.  It was verified that Harris still has Harvey on the payroll as of October 28, 2015.

Using their offices to cover up criminal conduct “Team” Neely and Harris need to be replaced.

Below is just some information that will help shed some light on what is happening in Spotsylvania County regarding what I’ve described above.

Harvey Affadavits Complaints

Neely Affidavits Complaints

Letter and all Exhibits Sherifff Roger Harris

Civil Lawsuit Update: Cox’s Attorney’s respond to $1.35M lawsuit(Updated 12/11/15)

McKenney ordered him from his car, attempted to pull a cell phone from his hands because Cox was video recording the interaction, obstructed the collection of evidence and violated Cox's First and Fourth Amendment Rights.

“McKenney ordered him from his car, attempted to pull a cell phone from his hands because Cox was video recording the interaction, obstructed the collection of evidence and violated Cox’s First and Fourth Amendment Rights.”

(SEE TWO UPDATES REGARDING CASE AT BOTTOM OF ARTICLE)

On June 20th, Virginia Cop Block published the news about Virginia State Trooper Melanie McKenney filing yet another Civil Lawsuit against Virginia Cop Block Founder Nathan Cox; going from a $5K lawsuit to now a $1.35 Million dollar lawsuit.

Cox’s Attorney’s over at Thomas Robert’s and Associates located in Richmond have come out of the gates swinging filing two pleadings along with their own exhibits in hopes of getting this frivolous lawsuit dismissed, this time for good.

The first pleading covers the Statute of Limitations.
Taken from the introduction:

“(1) This Suit is nothing more than a bad-faith, baseless attempt by State Trooper McKenney to hide behind her private persona and silence Nathan Cox – to retaliate against him for his First Amendment protected political activity – by issuing him a million dollar ticket.”

(2) State Trooper McKenney filed suit in small claims court on March 12, 2014. That suit was dismissed, appealed and then non-suited. By the time State Trooper McKenney filed her March 13, 2014 suit, the statute of limitations for any statement complained of had long since run. Complaint 4-9. The Complaint, State Trooper McKenney expressly claims that ‘[t]his case was previously non-suited and is being refiled within six months of the prior non-suit.’

You can read the rest of those pleadings here: Hanover Circuit Filing -1st Special Plea in Bar – Statute of Limitations

As for the second pleadings which had video exhibits, which were that of Cox’s cell phone video and the DashCam video that he acquired by way of a FOIA Request (which the videos can be found on VA Cop Block’s YouTube channel); this pleading goes after the “Truth of all actionable statements.”

The opening Introduction of that pleading states:

“I asked him to get out of the car and he puts a camera in my face” “I don’t want myself on any type of YouTube or whatever.” (Quotes pulled from Dashboard Camera Audio)

“I asked him to get out of the car and he puts a camera in my face”
“I don’t want myself on any type of YouTube or whatever.”
(Quotes pulled from Dashboard Camera Audio)

“(1) In this case, State Trooper M.H McKenney sues Nathan Cox for defamation after Cox shared accounts of a traffic stop in which McKenney ordered him from his car, attempted to pull a cell phone from his hands because Cox was video recording the interaction, obstructed the collection of evidence and violated Cox’s First and Fourth Amendment Rights.

(2) To Prevail, McKenney must show the statements Cox made are both actionable and false. Many of the alleged defamatory statements are not actionable as a matter of law. As for the rest, the video and other documents related to the incident show that these statements are true or substantially true. While McKenney may be personally offended by some of the statements or the mode of their expression, they are not actionable. Indeed, they constitute protected speech under the First Amendment. Therefore this case should be promptly dismissed. Alternatively, any purported statements the Court determines not to be actionable or which are true should be stricken before the case proceeds further.”

Read the rest of these pleadings here:
Hanover Circuit Filing – 2nd Special Plea in Bar – Truth of All Actionable Statements

Cox’s attorney’s will be releasing a video that will be an exhibit in this case and when that video is released, this article will be updated with the embedded video. 

Continue to follow this case by following Virginia Cop Block on Facebook, Twitter and the website. 

Nathan Cox is seeking donations for his Legal Defense Fund to help pay the cost of his attorneys. Consider making a donation and helping Cox protect hist First Amendment rights and perhaps, although it’s not clear, this case could help set a precedent in protecting YOUR first amendment rights in the process.  Click on the image below to make a donation. Cox has stated he’ll be sending personalized hand-written thank you cards, to everyone who donates.

 

Also, to view the Trooper’s 11 page complaint you can find that here: $1.35M Civil Lawsuit / 11 Page Complaint.

UPDATE: November 7, 2015

Yesterday, November 6, Nathan Cox was back in court dealing with this RIDICULOUS 1.35 Million Dollar lawsuit, brought on by a Virginia State Trooper named Melanie McKenney. If you have had a bad experience with Trooper Melanie McKenney, please private message the  facebook page or submit an entry on the website and let us know! The following is what Nathan published regarding the half day in court:

“Today was a great day in court!
My team of attorneys did an excellent job!
The court will be issuing letter opinions on the pleas filed by my lawyers that should get rid of most if not all of this ridiculous case.

The court denied the motion of the plaintiff attempting to deny access to the files of the state police related to Trooper Melanie McKenney. The documents produced will be subject to a protective order to be used only in the defense of the case.

My attorneys have been working hard on the case and need to get compensated. Please consider supplementing what I’m able to pay them. The work that they are doing is vital to protect free speech and the First Amendment, not just for me but for others who choose to criticize the government. You can help protect our 1st Amendment rights by contributing to the legal defense fund here:
http://www.robertslaw.org/defense-fund/

I appreciate the continued support in this matter–it really means a lot. I’m very grateful to those folks who’ve sent me encouraging messages, who’ve chipped in here and there financially and who appreciate the work I’ve done for the cause of freedom. Thank you!

I’ll write an update on VirginiaCopBlock.org after the judge issues his opinion”

————————————————————————–
Update: December 11, 2015

Followers & Supporters !!!! We have FANTASTIC news regarding the $1.35 Million lawsuit against Virginia Cop Block Founder, Nathan Cox that was meant to silence him. The following is a statement from him:

“My attorneys really hit a home run in court at the end of last month! The court has issued its (3 page) order which stemmed from my attorneys making a few arguments why it should all be thrown out.

The court found that the Appeal by Virginia State Trooper McKenney was improper, the non-suit was a nullity, and therefore ALL statements/ claims with the exception of just ONE HAVE BEEN THROWN OUT!!

The last existing claim is something I said back on March 28th, 2015 when I was invited to speak to some University of Richmond Law Students.

This statement is: “she pretty much assaulted me.” Which my attorneys should be able to dispose of this claim at a summary judgment. If not before.

I want to give a HUGE thank you to my attorneys over at Thomas Roberts & Associates whom I HIGHLY recommend for especially Constitutional matters and police matters respectively.

I also want to give a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who’s supported me in various ways whether through encouragement, prayers, donations to my legal fund, etc. Your support truly means the world to me.

More updates on the way as they come out and finally get this behind me!”

Virginia Cop Block T-shirt/ Hoodie Pre-Sale June 27 – July 15

Fellow Police Accountability supporters! After MUCH delay, we are finally releasing TWO designs for shirts/ hoodies.
This is a PRE-SALE only, similar to music artists who Pre-Sale albums. You MUST Pay for for gear upfront.
Pre-Sale Ordering begins today, June 27 and will END at the end of the day on July 15.
I’m told by the Shirt/Sign/ Decal business that products will be ready no more than 2 weeks after order is submitted to them – so you can potentially have your gear by the end of the month of July.

Shirts:
1 for $20 (+ $5.50 shipping)
Or 2 for $33 (+ $5.50 shipping)

Hoodies:
1 for $35 (+ $12 shipping)
2 for $60 (+ $12 shipping)



 

What you see in the picture, is Read more

VA State Trooper McKenney Sues VA Cop Block Founder Nathan Cox for $1.35 Million

Nathan Cox & Tom Roberts after the $10,000 VCU Settlement.

Nathan Cox & Tom Roberts after the $10,000 VCU Settlement.

Written by: Nathan Cox

In March of 2014, local Richmond media (along with Virginia Cop Block) reported that I was being sued by Virginia State Trooper Melanie McKenney as a result from a traffic stop that transpired on Memorial Day weekend 2012, nearly two years prior, in which I later wrote an article about. The initial suit was for “defamation” which was filed in small claims court and she was suing me for $5,000.

The initial “warrant in-debt” I received had no attached complaint or allegations and I had no idea what it was about. I later formed the opinion that McKenney was upset about something I perhaps wrote in the article about the stop. The article also included information I acquired by way of a Freedom of Information Act Request.  This information I received included electronic forms of communication, radio transmissions and her dashboard camera.

During this first go around, Read more

VIDEO: JUSTICE FOR WAYNE A. JONES RALLY A SUCCESS

Written by guest writer: Tony Soto

Had the pleasure to join with the people in City Of Martinsburg West Virginia today to Lead a Protest and Rally bringing attention back to Wayne A Jones an unarmed man who was murdered execution style by 5 Martinsburg Police Officers Known as MP5. As we gathered on the corners of 232 Queen Street we were quickly met with a heavy Police Presence. Yet that didn’t stop the individuals in attendance from gathering and demanding Justice on behalf of Mr.Jones and a transparent Police department that will equally apply justice not by ones skin color or job occupation , but by ones humanity.

Read more

Vigil for Jimmy Higgins & Upcoming Funeral

Jimmy Collage2

Written by: Nathan Cox

 

As published on March 20th, James “Jimmy” Higgins, a good buddy of mine and an outstanding activist and volunteer with Virginia Cop Block who was helping spearhead Colonial Heights Cop Block and Petersburg Cop Block lost his life along with three others in a tragic car accident.

This past Monday a vigil took place at White Bank Park in Colonial Heights that included the planting of a Dogwood Tree in memory of Jimmy that was donated by the Colonial Heights Home Depot.
Many folks wrote on the event wall and shared memories and pictures of Jimmy.

I wanted to share some of the pictures from the vigil and update everyone with the funeral arrangements for people who may be interested in going. You can also find videos of some of the various individuals that spoke and shared memories about Jimmy here.

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As for the funeral, I’ve gotten word that it’s tentatively set for this coming Wednesday, April 1 at 11am at St Ann Catholic Church in Colonial Heights.

We are raising money to help the family of James “Jimmy” Higgins with any and all costs associated with his funeral and memorial services. This is an extreme hardship for the family and we really want to show them how much Jimmy was loved and appreciated by helping remove this financial worry during their time of mourning. We sincerely appreciate your generous donation.

Jimmy’s life was tragically ended on the morning of March 20th, 2015 along with 3 others when the vehicle he was in collided, head on, with a tractor trailer. Jimmy was a life long supporter of liberty and the second amendment and was at the time traveling to participate in a second amendment event. Jimmy was also very involved in the cause for police and judicial system accountability and transparency.

Over the last 3 years he has helped educate literally more than 9 thousand people including his local friends in Colonial Heights and was very involved and active in his community. Jimmy was a well loved and respected member of the liberty community and society as a whole. Jimmy will be missed.

A Tribute to James “Jimmy” Higgins

Jimmy Collage2Written by: Nathan Cox
I sit here typing this, still in disbelief, completely shocked and deeply saddened. Today at around 7am, Jimmy Higgins along with 3 other Richmond area men and activists were killed in a horrific car accident in Ohio, as they traveled to Michigan for some sort of event or demonstration. The three other men were Jason Spitzer III, Stephen Kim and David Armstrong, all of which had made local Richmond news multiple times last year for their peaceful open-carry demonstrations, which were to encourage people to utilize their 2nd Amendment Rights to effectively protect themselves and not rely on other people for their security.

I also had the pleasure of meeting and talking to Jason, Stephen and David at several events – solid, smart, caring and seemed very genuine, much like Jimmy.
Maybe you disagree with their politics, but putting that aside these 4 men were truly outstanding individuals and I can confidently say that because I personally knew Jimmy and I am witnessing what friends are saying about Jason, David and Stephen on their respective Facebook Pages and on the status I posted when I heard the news. Great men seem to be a commodity in the wind these days and these men will never be forgotten and always be remembered as great men who stood up for their rights and the rights of others.

As for Jimmy, If I recall correctly, I first met Jimmy back in 2012 and it may have been around the time of the Brandon Raub was wrongfully detained because he was at several of the demonstrations we organized in Petersburg during that time frame. He and I connected very well and Jimmy was eager to get educated and get involved. Jimmy was a tremendous help with Virginia Cop Block’s Liberty Empowerment Project, as we distributed 9,000+ informational “Know Your Rights” packets, door to door/ person to person in more than a dozen Richmond housing projects. It was during this time period when I really got to know Jimmy, this was later in the summer of 2012.

Jimmy was a bright, genuine, determined young man. He was the same age as my little brother, just 2 days from now, March 22nd Jimmy would’ve turned 25.

Jimmy leaves behind a mother, father, two brothers and two sisters. But He’d tell you he has 4 brothers and 4 sisters, because each of his siblings is married and he doesn’t refer to them as inlaws, but brothers and sisters. That’s the type of family oriented person he was.From what I know about Jimmy, he loved animals, loved nature, very family oriented person and loved to help people, which is why he got so involved with Virginia Cop Block.

Jimmy had his own first and second hand encounters with police that apparently were questionable/ concerning enough to self-educate about his rights and ended up finding Virginia Cop Block and aspired to help make a difference – and that is exactly what he did. Jimmy was in the habit of sacrificing his time and even money some times to people in need and would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. Jimmy was a hard-working employee at Food Lion and would do anything to help his friends &/or family.

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My heart is breaking as I sit here in disbelief. After Jimmy was a tremendous help with the Liberty Empowerment Project he continued to stay involved. Jimmy was PIVOTAL in 2014 and even thus far in 2015. In 2014 a Petersburg teenager was brutally assaulted by a police officer for simply recording a traffic stop from a safe distance on private property. Jimmy played a huge roll in helping that young man Devin Thomas. He was the co-organizer for the demonstration we organized and offered any help/ assistance he could to Mr. Thomas during his legal matters.
I know he’s played a pivotal roll also in educating the circle of friends he has in his Colonial Heights/ Peterburg area, educating them about non-violence & their individual rights.

Just recently Jimmy played a KEY role in helping out a New Hampshire business owner and also activist who just happened to be passing through traveling to Georgia to briefly reunite with his family, when he was pulled over by Hopewell Sheriff’s Department and ended up being placed under arrest. Jimmy played a pivotal roll in coordinating with that man’s friends and helping him Bond out of Jail the following day of the arrest.

Jimmy had recently received his Private Investigating certificate and was eager to generate some business and also help some people out.
This is only a mere glimpse of who Jimmy is and what he was about. I encourage any friends or family to share your thoughts about Jimmy in the comment section below.

Jimmy reminded me of my self. He was very down to earth. Very genuine, caring and selfless. Only a minority of people are willing to stand up and fight for a cause and he was apart of that minority. I hope the example that Jimmy set for his peers will resonate within them and replicate the great qualities and characteristics of Jimmy.

I am organizing a vigil for Jimmy that will take place one day after his birthday, This coming Monday March 23rd at 5pm at White Bank Park in Colonial Heights which is a park Jimmy frequently took his dogs to.

You can find Details on the Facebook Event here.

We are raising money to help the family of James “Jimmy” Higgins with any and all costs associated with his funeral and memorial services. This is an extreme hardship for the family and we really want to show them how much Jimmy was loved and appreciated by helping remove this financial worry during their time of mourning. We sincerely appreciate your generous donation.
Jimmy’s life was tragically ended on the morning of March 20th, 2015 along with 3 others when the vehicle he was in collided, head on, with a tractor trailer. Jimmy was a life long supporter of liberty and the second amendment and was at the time traveling to participate in a second amendment event. Jimmy was also very involved in the cause for police and judicial system accountability and transparency. Over the last 3 years he has helped educate literally more than 9 thousand people including his local friends in Colonial Heights and was very involved and active in his community. Jimmy was a well loved and respected member of the liberty community and society as a whole. Jimmy will be missed.

Here are 2 videos that Jimmy recorded while interacting with the police.

This was taken at Food Lion when Jimmy witnessed what appeared to be an autistic young man pacing back and forth, he grew concerned and had a feeling the police would show up, which they did and he started recording. He did so because too many mentally disabled individuals have been shot and killed by the police – and as Jimmy says in the video, he’s recording for “everyone’s protection.”

The Problem with VA Senator Bill “Police State” Carrico

State Senator Bill Carrico is a retired Virginia State Trooper. Unfortunately, it appears he has been more interested in representing his old buddies at the VSP in the Senate, than he is in representing his constituents and the citizens of the Commonwealth. 11008910_10101894148333908_718981517_n

The trouble all started in 2013 when Ben Cline’s anti-indefinite detention bill (HB2229) passed the House of Delegates 83-14 on its first attempt. This bill would prevent Virginia citizens from being tossed in a hole without trial, charge, or representation, and place power in the hands of the local sheriff to keep his citizens safe from violations of the 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendments. The bill then went to the senate and passed out of committee 14-1.

Before the bill could be voted on for final passage, it was passed by for the day 5 times. Here’s a hint, that doesn’t happen without somebody pulling some strings. When it finally was given a vote, “Police State Bill” amended it, and it passed the Senate 31-9. His amendments, they ripped the teeth out of the bill and took the sunlight provisions out that would’ve disclosed all of the Memorandums of Understanding between the Commonwealth and the feds. Why would he have done that? The math is pretty simple: the feds didn’t want the bill to pass – even though the bill would’ve done nothing unless the feds violated it, so they went to the VSP to ask them to carry water for them. The VSP went to their good buddy “Police State Bill,” and he decided to emasculate the bill to please the VSP and thus the feds.

Remember, this is Read more