VA State Trooper drops defamation suit against blogger

Published: Jan. 6, 2015 at 1:36 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 16, 2015 at 4:50 AM EST
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Source: Nathan Cox
Source: Nathan Cox

HANOVER, VA (WWBT) - A heated traffic stop sparked an outcry online and a defamation lawsuit. We first you showed you the video when State Trooper Melanie McKenney filed that lawsuit. Court documents now show Trooper McKenney is voluntarily withdrawing the suit.

"She opened up the door," said Nathan Cox with Virginia Cop Block. "She was very aggressive with me, and I don't think that is kosher in a normal traffic stop."

Cox expressed his outrage in a blog post on the Virginia Cop Block website. He also posted cellphone video of the incident on YouTube. It all ultimately led to Trooper Melanie McKenney filing a defamation suit against Cox. He feels it was filed partly because of the headline he used on the viral video.

"Memorial Day Weekend Traffic Stop: Trooper McKenney is crazy," read the headline said Cox. "I said that because that is how she behaved."

Court documents reveal Trooper McKenney withdrew the defamation suit just weeks before it was set to go to trial. Trooper McKenney is not commenting, but the head of the Virginia State Police Association was happy to speak about the case.

"It just seems like everybody is playing gotcha," said Wayne Huggins with the Virginia State Police Association.

Huggins predicts similar suits will be filed in the future.

"The fact that you put on a uniform does not mean you check your rights at the door," said Huggins. "It doesn't mean you check your reputation at the door. And if people want to make accusations and allegations against you then you have every right to protect your reputation."

Cox insists he meant no disrespect.

"I'm just apologizing that she felt the need to even do something like that. Maybe I'm an overly apologetic person," said Cox. "I'm not in the habit of making defamatory or malicious statements against anybody."

The court date was scheduled for the January 20th. NBC12 legal analyst Steve Benjamin says the trooper has six months to refile the suit. We'll keep you posted.

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