There’s been a GoFundMe campaign circulating social media because of how absurd and exhausting the explanation behind it sounds. Vandreena Cotton-Meeks wants to raise $50,000 to help her fight her husband’s racist family in court. The woman says they’ve been placing bogus charges against her like ‘stalking’ and making ‘threats’ in order to ruin her life because she’s Black.
She’s even lost her job behind the madness and now she faces a year in prison. But PLEASE…read for yourselves how Adreena says her swirly marriage might be the end of her freedom (FYI, none of it mentions WTH her husband’s been doing to help her):
* Joel & I are an interracial couple. After 8 years of dating (and an extremely negative reaction from his parents, we got married in late 2016.
* Approximately 6 weeks into our marriage, Joel’s brother & his brother’s wife accused me of sending death threats (but had zero evidence or forensics). Their reasoning for blaming me was because we “don’t get along”.
* Between January 2017 – April 2017, my brother-in-law & his wife called my job, stalked me at work and complained about me to my manager (whom they didn’t know).
* A day shy of our 5 month wedding anniversary, my in-laws had me arrested for ‘sending terroristic threats’. During this, we learned that they did not have evidence and the police went through my phone without a warrant. My bond at the time: $50,000. I ended up missing a day of work, but was released after 21 hours.
* A month later, I was served and had to appear in DeKalb County court for the same charges, but as a TPO. The judge in that case ruled in my sister-in-law’s favor “to help her sleep at night” and my husband & I were barred from having direct & indirect contact with his family, extended family & their friends – or being within 100 yards of them – for one year.
* Just before the scheduled date of the trial (October 2017), I was fired from my day job. When I asked the manager why, he stated I was no longer a good fit “after speaking with your in-laws”. Yes, my in-laws complained to my manager enough to get me fired from my well-paying job (that I had a stellar review for one week prior).
* Since I am a caregiver for my mom – and I know how the justice system can behave towards people of color – I made the decision with my lawyer to forego the trial and take several months of anger management instead. This allowed me to avoid one year in prison if I would have lost the case.
* Around January 2018, my lawyer received notice that I was being charged with contempt in Fulton & DeKalb counties. If I were found guilty of contempt, I would be listed as a felon & would be required to serve one year in prison. The reason for the contempt allegation: my in-laws claimed I ‘liked’ an Instagram post of theirs. After going to a bench trial in Fulton, the judge found I was NOT in contempt and informed my in-laws they could not send me to jail because they didn’t like me (especially since they never presented evidence or forensics that I had done anything they alleged).
* In February 2018, we had the contempt hearing in DeKalb and the judge agreed with Fulton that there was no contempt. However, when we met back in his courtroom in May 2018, the judge reiterated the ‘help her sleep at night’ narrative and agreed to extended the aforementioned TPO through May 2021.
* In early November 2018 – after Joel & I captured a promo video for a state park – we saw his mother, father, brother, sister-in-law & his parents’ best friends at a restaurant in Helen, GA. Luckily, we saw them immediately after we arrived at the hostess stand and left to eat at another restaurant, which we have on video from the restaurant security camera, (but not before his brother chased after us with his phone to take pictures, told the staff not to serve us and asked an employee to follow us; he talked very loudly).
* In December 2018 – we started receiving harassment in 2 ways: police & process servers were coming to our house daily (and trying to tamper with our security cameras) and we were receiving fake, negative reviews on WeddingWire for our photography business (which is one of our only sources of income). Unfortunately, gigs aren’t guaranteed & a negative review could ruin our business. Luckily, WW removed the reviews, but we were also receiving harassing comments on our blog (which we moderate, so the public never saw them).
* In January 2019, the harassment continued – this time with a phone number registered to his mother’s best friend. The messages started with “don’t have a baby”, “we’ll ruin you & your livelihood” and statements along those lines, but they soon turned to us receiving pictures of a shot up bulls-eye and promises to “hang [me] from a tree” (i.e. lynching). We never engaged with these messages and they always came from his mother’s best friend (even though she did CC his family on a few messages as well, but her tone was 180 degrees on those).
* And that brings us to today when I received a letter for a felony indictment in the mail. From what I’ve read & been told, that means they went to a prosecutor, which had a grand jury hearing in order to file these felony charges against me. The charges: terroristic threats & stalking. The dates these allegedly took place: the same dates they sent us death threats.
After all that, Joel & I need your help. As I mentioned above, I have been out of steady work since 2017, so Joel is our sole breadwinner. Our current plan was to hire the same attorney we had for the Fulton case, but I know he charges at least $50,000 (the $35,000 is for the attorney fees & the additional $15,000 is for the digital forensics experts). If you know us, you know we don’t like asking for help and normally go through trials & tribulations on our own. But with the hearing taking place in 2 weeks, we need to raise those attorney fees ASAP. My family literally can’t survive if I go to prison (and that’s not an understatement).
We would appreciate any funds you could part with to help us, from the price of a cup of coffee to a tax return – no amount will be turned away. If the Lord blesses us with a large financial windfall, we will do our best to pay you back and know that we will be praying that blessings come to you as well. You can also feel free to share this fundraiser & keep us in your prayers; we honestly don’t know what else to do.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and let me know if you have any questions or want to see evidence of the statements above.
– Vandreena & Joel Cotton-Meeks