After finding four marijuana plants growing on a vacant property, West Virginia sheriff’s deputies began questioning an elderly couple sitting on their front porch of a house about two properties away from the vacant lot where the weed was found on August 7, 2020.
The deputies asked the couple if they were the ones growing the marijuana and they responded no, they had nothing to do with it.
The deputies then began snooping around on their property, looking through windows, obviously not believing the couple. The couple then called their landlord to inform him that deputies were on his property.
Jason Tartt, the landlord, lived next door so he walked over to speak to the deputies. He even told them his first and last name but refused to provide them with his date of birth on the basis that the marijuana plants were not growing on any of his properties.
McDowell County sheriff’s deputy Dalton T. Martin informed Tartt that he was required to provide his information but Tartt, a former military police officer, knew better.
The deputies then arrested Tartt on a charge of obstruction. As they were doing so, they ordered his tenants, who were standing on their front porch, to go back into their homes.
The obstruction charge against Tartt was dismissed two months later when the deputies failed to show up to court.
Earlier this month, Tartt and the couple, Donnie and Ventriss Hairston, filed a lawsuit against Martin and the other deputy, Jordan A. Horn.
McDowell County Sheriff James “Boomer” Muncy is also named in the lawsuit which accuses the deputies of racial profiling by assuming they were the ones growing the weed because they were Black.
The lawsuit which you can read here also accuses the deputies of retaliating against Tartt for daring to stand up for his rights as well as violating the rights of the Hairstons for ordering them back into their home against their will.
Watch the shortened, edited video below or the longer video here which includes commentary from their attorney, John H. Bryan.