A woman who was caught on video standing between her dog and a West Virginia State Trooper who was intent on shooting him was acquitted of obstructing an officer by a jury in Wood County.
23-year-old Tiffanie Hupp was acquitted after they watched the uploaded video of the police incident that Hupp's husband, Ryan, filmed using his cellphone.
Trooper Seth Cook responded to the Hupps' residence in May of last year for a dispute between a neighbor and Ryan's stepfather. In the front of the home Cook came face-to-face with "Buddy", a Labrador-husky mix who was chained outside the house. The dog ran toward Cook, barking, and the trooper backed up. Even though the dog had reached the end of his chain and Cook was not in any danger, he pulled out his sidearm.
The video then shows Tiffanie stepping in front of Cook, at which point he grabs her, throws her to the ground, picks her up, leans her against his cruiser, and handcuffs her.
"The officer alleged in the complaint that she raised her arm," Tiffanie Hupp's lawyer, told a local newspaper, "but we did stop-frame [of the video] for the jury, and it showed she was stationary, her arms at her side....All she said was 'Don't do that,' and [Cook] grabbed her by the bicep and spun her around, and she ends up falling down."
After he heard about the video, the lawyer contacted Hupp and offered to represent her at no cost. "I thought it was outrageous, this girl is being charged for standing in her yard doing nothing but saying, 'Don't shoot my dog,'" he said.
Trooper Cook testified that he was not afraid of the dog, but was "following training that required him to kill all dogs that approach him", even if it the animal was chained and even wagging its tail.