Tag Archive for first amendment

Press Release: Virginia Supreme Court rejects trooper’s appeal

Virginia Supreme Court rejects trooper’s appeal, ending her defamation claim

A Virginia State Trooper has lost her appeal of a lawsuit in which she accused a former Mechanicsville man of defamation.
The Virginia Supreme Court refused Trooper Melanie McKenney’s petition for appeal in her $1.35 million lawsuit against Nathan Cox, ending a protracted legal dispute.
At the heart of the case was the right of citizens to video traffic stops and police interaction for publication on social media.

Cox, 37, an Army veteran who served in Iraq during the Iraq War, has operated a law enforcement watchdog website, Virginia Cop Block. McKenney pulled him over during a traffic stop in 2012. He was subsequently charged for not displaying a license plate on the front of his vehicle and another non-moving vehicle violation.

During the course of the traffic stop, Cox used his cell phone to video the interaction with McKenney, and she attempted to grab it and take it away from him.
Cox, who now lives in Brevard County, Florida, later posted a video on the Internet of the traffic stop with his comments. McKenney filed a lawsuit against Cox in Hanover County alleging his remarks constituted defamation. The original case, claiming $5,000 in damages was dismissed, but McKenney filed a second similar lawsuit seeking $1.35 million in damages.

All of McKenney’s claims eventually were dismissed by the trial court, but she appealed.
The Virginia Supreme Court rejected her appeal Jan. 23, saying in its ruling there was “no reversible error.”

“Accordingly, the Court refuses the petition for appeal,” the high court ruled.
“Nathan Cox’s nightmare is finally over,” said Thomas Roberts, a Richmond attorney whose law firm defended Cox based on legal procedure and the First Amendment right to free speech.

McKenney’s last claim at the trial court was based on a statement Cox made when he was invited to speak to a group of University of Richmond law students in 2015. He told the students that the trooper “pretty much assaulted me.”

Attorneys for Cox opposed McKenney’s appeal, arguing it had no basis. Her concession that she “frisk[ed] him a little bit and things like that” was sufficient factual ground to legitimize Cox’s opinion that McKenney “pretty much assaulted” him, they argued, and the trial court dismissed her claim.

Freedom Works Foundation helped Cox pay some of his legal fees, and Roberts has established a website to raise more funds. You can find the legal fund HERE. (www.gofundme.com/constitutional-liberties-matter).

Virginia State Troopers take a pledge to obey the laws of the United States and Virginia, and to defend the constitutions of both, Roberts noted on the website. “Unless somebody holds government servants faithful to the pledge, it is meaningless and your liberties are at risk,” he wrote.

“Nathan Cox has shouldered the burden of protecting your rights…He has stood in the breach, he has done his part. Will you do yours?”
— END —

$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.

Five Things Flag Burning Tells Us about the Police and Their Supporters

Older man assaults younger man for burning a flag

This meme went viral over Independence Day weekend. In it, a collage of photos shows a young man burning an American Flag and an older man snatching the flag from the flames, shoving it into the younger man’s face and pushing him down on the ground.

Regardless of how you feel about flag burning, you should know that the Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly that it is an act of protected free speech under the First Amendment. You should also know that initiating physical violence on someone for burning the flag is not exercising your First Amendment rights; it is the criminal act of assault. Being aware of these two facts already puts you way  ahead of the cops and cop apologists posting at Survive the Streets: A Page for Cops and Police Beat, two pro-police Facebook pages that shared the series of images above.

The comments left on the pages speak volumes about the cops and cop apologists who wrote them, and it isn’t that they are fine upstanding Americans.

Read more