On March 17, 2014 I was served a “Warrant in Debt”. As you will see in the attached image, I’m being sued for $5,000 by Virginia State Police Trooper Melanie McKenney. Some of you readers may recall that two years ago I was pulled over by Trooper Melanie McKenney during Memorial Day Weekend when the Virginia State Police had many of their Revenue Generating Officers out on the interstates.
I had described it as the second most aggressive traffic stop I had ever been involved in. She violated my rights and denied my right to record her by claiming my cell phone could be a gun – however the information and videos given to me through the FOIA Request showed that she knew it wasn’t a gun, in her words, “I don’t want myself on any type of YouTube or whatever.”
If you are not aware of this incident and would like to see the article and videos of that incident click here.
So almost two years later VSP Trooper Melanie McKenney is suing me for “Defamation”. That’s all the information I have and that apparently she has provided the courts. Below is a statement from my Attorneys Stephen Lewis and Danielle Lewis. As you’ll noticed it’s directed to local CBS 6 reporter Mark Holmberg who has already expressed in this story.
After being pulled over two years ago, I asked the public if anyone else had run-ins with Trooper McKenney and what type of experiences they had. A handful of people replied and said they were in similar situations where she was unprofessional and rude. If you’re reading this and YOU have been pulled over by Trooper Melanie McKenney of the Virginia State Police, please contact Virginia Cop Block!
I am as confused about these allegations as anyone else. My suspicion is that she may be upset that her Dashboard Camera video, along with my cell phone videos, did in-fact make it to You Tube and have accumulated more than a Half a Million views. I will keep the public up to date on this situation.
Video and text below published to VirginiaCopBlock.org on August 31, 2012
Points of Interest/ Concern:
- At approximately the 1:20 mark Trooper McKenney approaches my car and proceeds to open my door; within a second or two of her opening my door, “Driver Perspective”.
- At approximately the 1:50 mark Trooper McKenney begins to prevent me from recording her by trying to grab my smart-phone, claims it could be a gun at the 2:30 mark.
- At approximately 2:50 mark in the video I comply and put my phone while recording against the spoiler on my car point towards the front of her car, while telling her I am still recording, she replies “That’s fine.”
- At approximately the 3:22 mark, she continues her refusal of me recording her all while saying it could be a gun, and she has no problem recording her saying “You can record all you want”.
*NOTE* The TIME of 3:36pm was written on both citations – noted for purposes of Text Message time-frame. The Text Message that Trooper McKenney sent/ received begin to play on the bottom of the screen in chronological order beginning around the 3:48 minute mark in the video. (All text messages appear to be sent/ received after completion of the traffic stop)
- At approximately the 5:02 mark she is alerted by her computer that I have a concealed weapons permit.
- At approximately the 6:05 mark she finally admits it’s a phone (but then says she doesn’t know what it is), but refuses to let me record her. I point out she is the one with a gun on her hip and that my firearm is not on me. Question: Do Police officers have the “legal right” to disarm individuals they encounter? Maybe only in the case of someone being detained/ arrested? Why is an individual likely required to be disarmed and not the police officer? It’s the police who’ve proved to be over-aggressive, liars, thieves, murderers, incompetent, inept, violent, etc and there our thousands of videos on YouTube to prove it. It’s the police who need to be disarmed and given maybe a rubber-band gun as a replacement.
- At Approximately the 6:50 mark three more State Troopers arrive.
- At approximately the 7:25 mark she finally finishes explaining why she pulls me over – and I ask her to show me a victim.
- At approximately the 8:00 mark I again make a plea to retain my smart-phone, so I can record the scene, request denied. “You don’t have a right to your property on a traffic stop”.
- At approximately the 8:40 mark she attempts to get me to incriminate myself by hoping I’d say I wasn’t wearing my seat belt – I didn’t intentionally did not answer her.
- At approximately the 9:00 mark trooper McKenney Trespasses against my property (smart-phone) and lays my phone down on my car camera facing the sky – Seen in my video here. I initially thought my phone was touched by one of the Troopers guarding me. I pleaded with them off and on through the length of the detainment to allow me to retain my property because it was 100+ degrees that day and I was in fear that a combination of the direct sunlight & heated metal of my car would damage my phone. They refused to let me obtain my property or even move my property to a safer location and even said they weren’t responsible for it if it ended up getting damaged by the heat.
- At approximately the 10:10 mark one of the Troopers approaches McKenney’s vehicle and questions her about the stop and makes first mention of CopBlock.org
- At approximately the 10:48 mark she acknowledges I was recording to her colleague and said, “I asked him to get out of the car and he puts a camera in my face” and goes on to say “I don’t want myself on any type of YouTube or whatever.” (She knew very well it wasn’t a weapon and simply did not want to be recorded. Public Servants like her self have no reasonable expectation of privacy.
- At approximately the 11:14 mark another Trooper approaches her car to let her know I’m “from the online Cop Block thing”.
- At approximately the 11:55 mark Trooper McKenney explains to colleague that I was wanting to retain my phone to record the scene, she goes on to say, “I don’t want his cell phone in my face, it could be a gun.” (Maybe that’s why there are so many “accidental” shootings?)
- At approximately the 12:10 mark McKenney’s colleague says, “he calls for a supervisor every time he gets pulled over” (That’s not true first of all, secondly that proves he’s seen the VCU traffic stop video).
- At approximately the 16:06 mark The officer who had been sneering at me began attempting to search the inside of my car. He peered into the windows, walked around the car, even tried to get in it at one point. What is the purpose of this search? Who knows. I made it very clear I was not giving anyone consent to search my car.
- At approximately the 20:09 mark Trooper McKenney continues to try and find reasons to extort more money from me (for doing no harm to anyone life, liberty or property).
- At approximately the 25:28 mark she finally gets out of her car to give me the citations – colleague says “Be aware he may not sign.”