Update March 8, 2016: Tiffanie Hupp was acquitted of obstruction of justice! During the jury trial, Trooper Cook claimed that he had been trained to shoot dogs, whether or not they are chained.
A very disturbing story is emerging from Parkersburg, West Virginia. A woman was assaulted and arrested by a state trooper, after she stepped in front of her chained dog, to block that trooper from shooting and killing her dog. That officer already had his weapon in hand, arm outstretched, with the barrel of the gun pointing directly at her dog, who was standing, chained, in his own front yard, making no threatening actions towards anyone approaching, including the officer.
The unedited YouTube video reveals the entire event, including some expletives. You can see that woman, Tiffanie Hupp, emerge into the frame, after the officer draws his weapon, aiming it at the dog. Tiffanie calmly walks towards the officer and her dog, and then stand between the two, blocking his shot. The slightly built woman never touched the trooper, had nothing in her hands, and made no menacing move towards the officer, simply blocked him from what she perceived was about to happen, yet another case of dog shot by cop. Within two seconds, that officer grabs her by her arm, spins her around and throws her to the ground.
The shocking incident began with a neighborhood argument. The police were called to the scene by one of the parties involved, a homeowner named Cliff. Reportedly, Cliff alleges that his neighbor threatened him. He called the local authorities in an attempt to de-escalate what had become a volatile situation. The video was provided by neighbor Randall Hupp, father of Tiffanie. Mr. Hupp’s son shot it just in case things got further out of control regarding the neighbor. He could never have predicted how events unfolded.
Once the troopers arrived on scene, things seemed to calm down. There are a pair of dogs seen in the video. The black dog belongs to the neighbor and was loose. The other dog, according to Hupp, belongs to Cliff, the man who dialed 911. That dog is chained on his own property. He barks as the officer approaches the home. He quiets down, and has his tail still wagging as the officer pulls out his service pistol and aims it at his head. The trooper appears very annoyed that Tiffanie stopped him from shooting and killing her dog, and began his attack.
She was thrown to the ground and attacked by the officer in full view of her four-year-old son. Tiffanie was then arrested put in the squad car, and has been charged with misdemeanor obstruction. A Care2 petition has been posted. As the petition explains, to add insult to injury, the court-appointed public defender for Tiffanie is an attorney who is married to a state trooper. She has been denied a request for new legal counsel. The hearing is set for August 13. The Hupps have been told that because Tiffanie suffered no injury, they have no legal grounds for a lawsuit.
According to Mr. Hupp, “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.”
There is some discussion regarding this event posted on the Facebook page for the West Virginia State Police. According to reports, the trooper who signed the complaint against Ms. Huff is Trooper S.D.Cook. You can weigh in with your comments on their Facebook page, on the Care2 petition, or below.
Mr. Hupp states, “I’m told at every door, there will be no justice.”
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