Parkersburg, WV — Last year, the Free Thought Project broke the story and the video of a courageous mother, Tiffanie Hupp who stepped in front of an officer who was about to shoot her dog.
The trooper approached with gun in hand, grabbed her by the arm and slammed her to the ground. After the troopers realized that they had been filmed, they entered the home illegally without warrant or probable cause and confiscated all digital devices including my 4-year-old grandson’s tablet. We only recently received the devices back and released the video.
The homeowner, Cliff, called the police after his neighbor allegedly threatened him.
Cliff’s dog, which was on a chain, merely barked as the officer walked up to the home. His tail was still wagging, and he seemed to calm down immediately. However, the fact that this dog was on a chain, not growling, nor posing any threat whatsoever, was of no consequence to the state trooper who quickly pulled out his service pistol, took aim, and almost killed the dog.
For stopping the trooper from killing her dog and getting slammed to the ground in front of her 4-year-old son, Tiffanie was charged with misdemeanor obstruction.
Of course, Tiffanie Hupp pleaded not guilty, as the video clearly showed that she was the victim. However, the city railroaded Tiffanie by forcing her to use their public appointed defender, with obvious conflicts of interest.
She was given a public defender who was married to a state trooper. She was told she had no legal grounds for a lawsuit because she lacked serious bodily harm and she was well on her way to being declared guilty for a crime she clearly did not commit.
However, thanks to a selfless attorney who saw Hupp’s story, Tiffanie was able to fight back. Charleston Attorney, David Schles took her case pro bono.
I was shown the video of the incident last August and I found it unjustifiable for Tiffanie to be charged with any crime for her reasonable, non-forcible, actions to defend Buddy the dog. When I was told the lawyer appointed to represent Tiffanie was married to a state trooper and did not inform Tiffanie of this relationship, I decided I would represent Tiffanie pro bono if she wanted my services,” Schles tells The Free Thought Project.