When a woman became frustrated with her ex-husband over his refusal to deliver medicine for their sick son, she vented her annoyance on the social media site, Facebook. But then, the ex-husband, who is a cop, immediately began the paperwork to have her arrested for “defamation of character.”
The whole dispute began in 2015 with the now infamous Facebook post. Anne King had taken her then 8-year-old son to the emergency room with the flu, returning home with enough medicine to get through the night. Anne King sent a text to Corey King, asking him to pick up ibuprofen for their son and leave it in the mailbox on his way to work. But Corey said he was too busy. So the next day Anne King turned to Facebook, writing she was “feeling overwhelmed. 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.”
Corey King demanded in a text message that his ex-wife take down the post, which she did eventually.
According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, within days of Anne King’s Facebook post, in which a friend of hers, Susan Hines, commiserated by calling her ex-husband Corey King a “POS,” the police captain and his colleague and friend, Captain Trey Burgamy, began paperwork to have both women arrested. Anne and her friend were later charged with criminal defamation of character. That law was deemed unconstitutional 32 years earlier by the Georgia Supreme Court.
Anne didn’t take the arrest in stride either. Now a federal lawsuit is pending against the two high-ranking Washington County deputies accused of using their positions in law enforcement to violate Anne King’s civil rights.
On Thursday, a federal judge will be asked to rule on the lawsuit based on the evidence and depositions already on file: Did the two deputies violate Anne King’s constitutional rights, including her right to free speech, or should the case continue to trial? “It was a classic good ole boy system at work,” is how Anne King’s attorney, Ken Hodges, described the situation. “What she said on Facebook wasn’t that offensive,” Hodges said. “It was her friend that posted the derogatory message.”
“I didn’t think I did anything wrong,” Anne King said in an interview. But her ex-husband disagreed. Corey King explained in a later deposition that his ex-wife had criticized him as a father and embarrassed him. He said he filed the paperwork to have her arrested because he wanted to prevent any other such postings. “I don’t feel as though the portrayal of my fatherhood was truthful as what I do for my children and what I have done for my children as long as they have been alive,” Corey King said in a deposition.
He did not respond to a message seeking comment for the story by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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