Posted on May 20, 2021

Alabama Woman Convicted of Breaking Police Car Window Under Controversial Anti-Riot Law

Tandra Smith,, May 19, 2021

A Mobile woman who smashed the window of a police car during a protest has been convicted.

Tia Pugh, 22, was charged after a May 31, 2020 protest in downtown Mobile over the death of George Floyd. Protestors were attempting to make their way onto the I-10 ramp, which was blocked off by Mobile Police Department officials.

Floyd was brought up multiple times during the trial by George Armstrong, one of Pugh’s lawyers. Armstrong said that May 31 ended up being the most important day of her life.

“Pugh admitted to [breaking the window] and doing it on purpose, but this case is more than that,” Armstrong said.

Pugh was charged under the “Civil Obedience Act,” created during the civil rights movement of the 1960s. {snip}

Armstrong argued earlier this year that the law “was born out of a racist backlash to the civil rights movement and gives prosecutors too much discretion to charge almost anyone engaged in a heated confrontation with police during a public demonstration,” according to Politico.


The prosecution brought up an affidavit from FBI Special Agent Paul Roche about the impacts the May protest had on downtown traffic. In the affidavit, Roche said that the protesters’ presence on the Water Street on-ramp forced the MPD to close both the on-ramp to Westbound I-10 from Water Street and Exit 26B Eastbound for safety reasons.

Due to the closure, commercial vehicles transporting hazardous materials to take a 19.5 mile detour. {snip}