Virginia State Trooper’s Dubious Defamation Claim Dismissed

If you’re Virginia state trooper Melanie McKenney, you don’t show up for court. That’s what happened on Monday, as [__McKenney’s defamation claim__](http://photographyisnotacrime.com/2014/06/19/virginia-cop-block-founder-sued-state-trooper-dubious-defamation-claim/) against Cox was dismissed when she failed to appear in Court.

McKenney’s aborted lawsuit against Cox, which claimed $5,000 in damages for “defamation,” never even had an actual complaint attached.

According to Cox:

> “The suit just says ‘defamation’ with no addendum attached to it with any actual allegations. My only belief is that the title of my cell phone video that I uploaded on Youtube is ‘Virginia State Trooper McKenney is CRAZY – Memorial Day Weekend Traffic Stop.”

In addition to calling McKenney crazy in his YouTube video title, Cox also wrote in his official complaint with the Virginia State Police that:

> “It is my belief that Trooper McKenney needs to have mental and psychological evaluations.”

Based on McKenney’s interaction with Cox during the traffic stop, and her stating she thought Cox’s phone could be a gun, Cox’s calling McKenney literally crazy makes sense – unless you think that McKenney never truly felt threatened and lied when she said Cox’s phone could be a gun.

Cox intends to file a counter suit because of McKenney’s “frivolous lawsuit,” and hopes his attorneys will also include a civil right “Deprivation of Rights claim.” Cox’s video upload and commentary were constitutionally protect free speech and trying to infringe that speech can be costly, as one [__Missouri police chief__](http://photographyisnotacrime.com/2014/06/24/missouri-police-chief-apologizes-settles-lawsuit-demanding-removal-youtube-video/) recently learned.

“Cops nationwide need RE-TRAINING on the bill of right, and individual rights,” Cox stated in an email interview with *Photography is Not a Crime.*

“They need to stop violating people’s rights and start protecting people’s rights. The courts have affirmed many times now over the last five years that citizens have a right under the First Amendment to film public officials.”

Cox was represented by Stephen A. Lewis and [__Danielle Lewis__](https://www.facebook.com/danielle.lewis.54738) on this matter.

*For news tips on aerial photography and drones, contact* [*__Andrew Meyer__*](http://photographyisnotacrime.com/contact/)*, PINAC’s staff writer covering UAV photography, the First Amendment, and more. Follow him on twitter* [*__@theandrewmeyer__*](http://photographyisnotacrime.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/TheAndrewMeyer3)*.*

If you’re Virginia state trooper Melanie McKenney, you don’t show up for court. That’s what happened on Monday, as [__McKenney’s defamation claim__](http://photographyisnotacrime.com/2014/06/19/virginia-cop-block-founder-sued-state-trooper-dubious-defamation-claim/) against Cox was dismissed when she failed to appear in Court.

McKenney’s aborted lawsuit against Cox, which claimed $5,000 in damages for “defamation,” never even had an actual complaint attached.

According to Cox:

> “The suit just says ‘defamation’ with no addendum attached to it with any actual allegations. My only belief is that the title of my cell phone video that I uploaded on Youtube is ‘Virginia State Trooper McKenney is CRAZY – Memorial Day Weekend Traffic Stop.”

In addition to calling McKenney crazy in his YouTube video title, Cox also wrote in his official complaint with the Virginia State Police that:

> “It is my belief that Trooper McKenney needs to have mental and psychological evaluations.”

Based on McKenney’s interaction with Cox during the traffic stop, and her stating she thought Cox’s phone could be a gun, Cox’s calling McKenney literally crazy makes sense – unless you think that McKenney never truly felt threatened and lied when she said Cox’s phone could be a gun.

Cox intends to file a counter suit because of McKenney’s “frivolous lawsuit,” and hopes his attorneys will also include a civil right “Deprivation of Rights claim.” Cox’s video upload and commentary were constitutionally protect free speech and trying to infringe that speech can be costly, as one [__Missouri police chief__](http://photographyisnotacrime.com/2014/06/24/missouri-police-chief-apologizes-settles-lawsuit-demanding-removal-youtube-video/) recently learned.

“Cops nationwide need RE-TRAINING on the bill of right, and individual rights,” Cox stated in an email interview with *Photography is Not a Crime.*

“They need to stop violating people’s rights and start protecting people’s rights. The courts have affirmed many times now over the last five years that citizens have a right under the First Amendment to film public officials.”

Cox was represented by Stephen A. Lewis and [__Danielle Lewis__](https://www.facebook.com/danielle.lewis.54738) on this matter.

*For news tips on aerial photography and drones, contact* [*__Andrew Meyer__*](http://photographyisnotacrime.com/contact/)*, PINAC’s staff writer covering UAV photography, the First Amendment, and more. Follow him on twitter* [*__@theandrewmeyer__*](http://photographyisnotacrime.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/TheAndrewMeyer3)*.*

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