In yet another federal civil rights lawsuit, the American taxpayer is footing the bill for the unconscionable actions of a few uneducated and unscrupulous police officers. This time, a police officer decided to arrest his ex-wife for “criminal defamation” of character, for a Facebook post she made which he obviously didn’t like. There were no threats of violence and it merely implied that he was lazy.
In 2015, Anne King posted the following, completely legal post to her Facebook page: “That moment when everyone in your house has the flu and you ask your kid’s dad to get them (not me) more Motrin and Tylenol and he refuses.”
That is it.
Nevertheless, the officer still chose to arrest Anne King for criminal defamation despite the fact that it was ruled unconstitutional in Georgia over 30 years ago. Worse yet, court papers reveal an earlier accusation that Officer Corey King used his badge to coerce his ex-wife into having post-divorce sex with him in order to keep her out of jail.
The lawsuit was filed on the 19th of January, 2017. Anne King sued her ex-husband, Officer Corey King and fellow officer and investigator Trey Burgamy for violating her first and fourth amendment rights to free speech and unreasonable search, seizure, and arrest, as well as malicious prosecution, false arrest, and civil conspiracy. She sued both men, who are Washington County, Georgia police officers, for an unspecified amount of money.
After years of battling the system, the lawsuit was finally settled last week and Anne King received $100,000 and, amazingly enough, an apology.
The apology, which she posted on Facebook, reads: “We apologize for the pain caused and time wasted including Ms. King being charged and arrested with respect to what was really a personal dispute that should have ended without the involvement of the courts.”
“There were plenty of times I thought to myself I should just end this,” she told the Journal-Constitution. “But I wasn’t going to back down and let them win.”
Lawyers for Ms. King allege the county has a history of jailing people for defamation of character. “Although criminal defamation has been unconstitutional in Georgia for decades, County law enforcement, on information and belief, regularly arrest and charge people with criminal defamation,” the suit read.
“If people can be arrested for a criticism of an ex-husband on social media, then you have what amounts to a totalitarian state,” said Cynthia Counts, a First Amendment attorney who’s one of King’s lawyers..
“I was terrified,” Anne King told the AJC. “I couldn’t believe I could be going to jail for something I said.”
Officer King had friends in the prosecution who went on to fully prosecute the innocent woman for her post on Facebook. Luckily, however, when the case went to court it went to a judge with some common sense.
According to KMBC, the case landed before State Court Judge John Dana. At a hearing, prosecutor Robert Wynn pressed on for his corrupt cop friends and told the court, “just because something is legal does not make it right.”
“I don’t even know why we’re here,” Dana said, according to court documents.
After being embarrassed by the judge, Wynn would then drop all the charges, but Anne pressed on in the form of her lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleged Officer King misused his position as a police officer in Washington County. In one instance, the suit alleged, he coerced his ex-wife into having sex with him. “Officer King uses the County’s unconstitutional custom to manipulate Ms. King. After the Kings divorced and Officer King remarried, for example, his new wife began harassing Ms. King,” the suit contends. “During one encounter, Ms. King said something about the new wife’s weight,” it read.
Apparently upset with having his new wife’s girth questioned by his ex-wife, the suit contends Officer Washington requested an arrest warrant to have her hauled into jail again. “And within days the County magistrate had issued a warrant against Ms. King,” it says.
At this point, officer King apparently got the bright idea to get sex out of the deal. “Officer King seized the opportunity. He propositioned Ms. King: If she slept with him, he promised to get the case dismissed. She slept with him, and the case was dismissed,” the lawsuit reads. While all of the aforementioned actions by law enforcement may seem unfathomable to some, here at The Free Thought Project, we regularly report on sexual improprieties of law enforcement officials, but there’s much more to Ms. King’s story.
It wasn’t just Anne King who was arrested either. Her friend would be kidnapped and caged for criticizing the cop’s laziness as well.
In January 2015, Ms. King was caring for her and Officer King’s son and daughter. Everyone in her house was sick. The Kings’ eight-year-old son had it the worst; he had been to the emergency room. So Ms. King asked Officer King to pick up some medicine on his way to work. Although Ms. King’s house is just three miles from the Sheriff’s Office, he refused to do so, claiming he was too busy. The next morning, January 15, 2015, Ms. King vented on Facebook: Several people commented on the post, expressing their support. ‘POS,’Susan Hines wrote. ‘Give me an hour and check your mailbox. I’ll be GLAD to pick up the slack.’”
Ms. Hines’ comment, calling Officer King a “POS”, would eventually be used to jail her as well as Ms. King. The lawsuit continues,
Officer King wasn’t as supportive. ‘Take that bulls–t off Facebook,’ he wrote. But she didn’t. And so later, he took a screen shot of the post and the comments, added something about how ‘righteous’ he was, and posted it on Facebook.
Eventually, Anne King would take the post down but it was too late. Not content with having the Facebook post removed, Officer King then decided to once again use his position with the Washington County Police Department to have his ex-wife and her friend arrested for calling him a “POS” and pointing out he didn’t have time to bring his children any medicine.
After the two were hauled into court, the Magistrate and friend of Officer King, Ralph O.Todd told Ms. Hines (Anne King’s friend), “You can call Mr. King a piece of shit to his face…You can even tell someone else you think he is a piece of shit. But you can’t post it out for the public to see. That’s defamation of character.” The two were then sent to the county jail for booking.
Ms. Hines would eventually have her charges dropped as well.
Last year, an unidentified friend of the family told The Free Thought Project Ms. King, “was arrested for what she posted on Facebook. That’s the big picture!”
The family friend also added that all Ms. King was attempting to get out of the lawsuit is “peace of mind.” Well, now she finally has it. As for Officer King, who blatantly abused his power to kidnap and cage innocent people who offended him, he’s still a cop and was never charged with a crime.