HANOVER, VA (WWBT) - A Virginia State Trooper has filed a lawsuit, demanding more than $1 million from a driver for posting cell phone video of a traffic stop to YouTube. The trooper is claiming defamation of character. The driver is claiming freedom of speech.
"This is not a rogue officer," said Trooper McKenney's attorney, Hayden Fisher. "She is the example of professionalism, and for him to attack her is just outrageous."
Trooper McKenney slapped Nathan Cox with a defamation lawsuit for more than $1.3 million.
"It's not about money," said Fisher. "It's about justice."
The complaint says Cox allegedly posted YouTube links that accused the trooper of professional misconduct and criminal wrongdoing.
"She literally attacks me. She doesn't leave any bruises or anything like that as far as I know," said Cox in a YouTube video. "She molests me, trying to grab my cell phone."
Fisher says the comments went too far.
"Free speech is one thing," said Fisher. "But it has to be true speech."
The complaint also mentions a YouTube video title that read "Virginia State Trooper McKenney is crazy."
"Saying someone is crazy is merely voicing an opinion," said Cox's attorney Jonathan Arthur. "Not defamation."
Arthur notes Cox is a vocal critic of police.
"We will defend Mr. Cox vigorously," said Arthur. "My client has done nothing wrong, and there are no defamatory statements in that complaint."
Cox runs Virginia Cop Block, a site that highlights alleged police brutality. Arthur says if the suit prevails, it will amount to silencing vocal critics of police.
"It will be a voice that speaks for the people being silenced by someone who is hired to protect the people," said Arthur. And that cannot be tolerated."
Cox's attorney now has three weeks to respond to this complaint. Cox says he plans to file a counter suit.