This is nuts. Nicole Harper was pulled over by an Arkansas state trooper. She pulled to the side, turned on her hazards, and looked for an exit.
He waited 20 seconds and then used a PIT maneuver to flip her car. She was pregnant. pic.twitter.com/hYIg6hVT7W
— Sawyer Hackett (@SawyerHackett) June 9, 2021
Reporting by Fox 16 on a technique used by Arkansas state troopers is going national, thanks to the release of a video showing the wreck of a pregnant woman’s car after a trooper used the “precision immobilization technique” to stop her for speeding.
From Susan El Khoury’s report:
In July 2020 Nicole Harper was driving home on I-67/167 outside Jacksonville when Senior Cpl. Rodney Dunn clocked her speeding.
Dunn says she fled, Harper clams she was trying to find a safe place to stop on a section of interstate that has a reduced shoulder.
Dash camera video from Dunn’s patrol car showed Harper pulled into the right lane, slowed down, and turned on hazards.
Less than two minutes after turning on his blue lights, Dunn performed a PIT maneuver, which caused Harper’s car to crash into the concrete median and flip.
“In my head I was going to lose the baby,” said Harper, who was pregnant with her daughter at the time of the crash.
Dunn’s body mic recorded him talking with Harper after the crash.
“Why didn’t you stop?” Dunn questioned.
“Because I didn’t feel it was safe,” Harper said. Dunn responded, “well this is where you ended up.”
Harper went on to say, “I thought it would be safe to wait until the exit.” Dunn said, “no ma’am, you pull over when law enforcement stops you.”
The PIT happened less than a mile from where the next exit and where the interstate shoulder widens.
In May Harper filed a lawsuit against Arkansas State Police, claiming the PIT maneuver was negligent and excessive use of force.
The PIT causes wrecks. Harper says she’s sued to get the State Police to reconsider the practice. Its use on a notorious stretch of freeway to stop a speeder raises questions. Particularly since Harper was following driver’s license study guide instructions to turn on hazard lights to signal an indication to stop at a safe place.
The video is being picked up all over social media.
The State Police issued a statement defending the use of the PIT maneuver, in part because of an increase of incidents of people fleeing. It said the law is clear that motorists must stop when signaled by an officer. It didn’t address the advice offered in the driver’s license study guide.
George Conway (more famous as Kelly Anne Conway’s husband) sent this out to his 1.7 million followers on Twitter.
— George Conway (@gtconway3d) June 10, 2021