Pregnant girl suing Arkansas cops after PIT maneuver flipped her automotive says she was not rushing

The girl suing Arkansas State Police after a trooper flipped her automotive throughout a chase mentioned that she was not rushing on the time of the crash and that the costs towards her don’t make sense. 

Nicole Harper, 38, who was pregnant on the time, was clocked at 84 mph in a 70 zone, based on the civil lawsuit, filed in Pulaski County Circuit Court docket final month.

She slowed to 60 miles per hour on the time of the affect July 9, on US Freeway 167 in Jacksonville, Arkansas, she mentioned.

Senior Cpl. Rodney Dunn ‘negligently carried out’ the Pursuit Intervention Method (PIT), which despatched her automotive careening throughout lanes earlier than flipping, the go well with says. 

She was charged with rushing and failing to yield to an emergency car.   

Nicole Harper (proper) informed CNN host Chris Cuomo the straightforward purpose she didn’t pull into the closest shoulder was as a result of there was not sufficient room

A woman is suing an Arkansas State Police officer after he flipped her car during a pursuit while she was pregnant

A girl is suing an Arkansas State Police officer after he flipped her automotive throughout a pursuit whereas she was pregnant

‘I do not perceive how they’re charging me with fleeing once I was not fleeing, that doesn’t make any sense to me,’ she mentioned on CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time Thursday.

She mentioned her child, who’s now 4 months previous, is doing ‘excellent’ regardless of the accident. 

Harper defined that she didn’t pull into the closest shoulder as a result of there was not sufficient room. ‘Truthfully the shoulder didn’t have sufficient room for my automotive alone however my ideas had been additionally the officer did not have to be standing beside my automotive there, there actually was not sufficient room,’ she mentioned.  

Harper’s lawsuit says Dunn was ‘unable to soundly cease her car on the best or left shoulder attributable to concrete obstacles and a decreased shoulder being on each side of the street… leaving [her] no room to soundly pull over her automotive.’

After Dunn turned on his cruiser’s lights and siren, Harper slowed to 60 mph and turned on her emergency lights.

Dunn continued following Harper’s car for about two minutes earlier than hitting its again left bumper, sending the automotive right into a concrete barrier.

Harper informed Cuomo previous to being hit by the officer she noticed an indication for a close-by exit the place she deliberate to tug over. 

‘In the event you watch slightly bit extra of the video earlier than he hit me you may discover an indication that claims the exit is one mile away,’ she informed Cuomo. ‘Simply after he hit me the street type of turns and it opens up and the shoulder does get greater, there may be extra space and it might have been a lot safer.’

Cuomo requested if perhaps Harper didn’t cease as a result of she thought the police had been going to harm her, which she mentioned by no means crossed her thoughts. 

‘I by no means would have thought the police would damage me,’ she mentioned. ‘I did not really feel like there was an ample quantity of house on the aspect of the street for my automotive and the officer to be standing beside it.’ 

The Arkansas Drivers License Handbook instructs drivers to ‘pull to the closest/most secure spot out of the site visitors lane (don’t cease on bridges or overpasses).

Nicole Harper was driving 60 miles per hour at the time of the incident, which happened on US Highway 167 in Jacksonville, Arkansas on July 9, 2020

Nicole Harper was driving 60 miles per hour on the time of the incident, which occurred on US Freeway 167 in Jacksonville, Arkansas on July 9, 2020

The PIT maneuver: How police cease fleeing vehicles with trick impressed by anti-terror techniques

The Pursuit Intervention Method, or PIT, is aimed toward stopping fleeing autos.

The chasing police car pulls alongside so it is entrance bumper is simply in entrance of the fleeing automotive’s again bumper. 

The officer then gently makes contact with the opposite car, earlier than turning sharply towards it. 

This causes the fleeing car to lose traction and spin sideways – ideally to a delicate cease. 

However the maneuver is very controversial, because it causes the fleeing car to lose management, and may even trigger it to flip – particularly at excessive speeds.

Since 2016 at the least 30 folks have been killed and a whole lot injured when police used the PIT maneuver to finish pursuits, The Washington Put up stories.

The tactic was reportedly developed by Germany’s federal police to take out terrorist vehicles that had been threatening convoys, and was launched to the US by non-public driver coaching agency BSR within the Nineteen Seventies, based on the Intercept.  

Dashcam footage of the incident, obtained by Harper’s authorized workforce, exhibits the patrol automotive pursuing Harper’s car earlier than ramming the bumper, inflicting it to swerve out of body.

The police car with the dashcam then makes a U-turn and approaches the Harper’s automotive, which is flipped over and smoking. The airbags have inflated and particles is littering the aspect of the freeway.  

The footage exhibits Dunn chiding Harper as he tries to assist her out of the car.   

Dunn requested her why she didn’t pull over, to which Harper responds ‘I believed it might be safer to attend till the exit’ 

‘No ma’am, it is best to pull over when regulation enforcement stops you,’ he replied, making an attempt to assist Harper out of the car. 

When requested if she was alone within the automotive she says, ‘I am pregnant!’ 

Cuomo requested Harper about Dunn’s line of questioning following the accident. 

‘I imply I believed like he was getting on to me,’ she mentioned. ‘telling me I used to be doing one thing unsuitable and in my thoughts I used to be doing precisely what I used to be speculated to be doing and I used to be making an attempt to maintain us each secure.’

Regardless of rushing prices, she mentioned as a result of she was solely driving between 60- 65 mph, there isn’t a probability the officer might have believed she was rushing to get away from him. 

‘My hazards had been on I had clearly slowed down,’ she mentioned. 

An investigation by NBC Information in Might revealed an growing use of PIT maneuvers by Arkansas State Police.

At the very least 30 folks have died and a whole lot extra have been injured by PIT maneuvers since 2016, The Washington Put up reported, including that 18 of these deaths occurred after police tried to cease a driver for rushing or different minor site visitors violations.  

Arkansas State Police and different forces use the maneuver to deliberately hit vehicles throughout chases, inflicting them to spin out.  

‘There is a basic state regulation none of us ought to ever neglect. All drivers are required underneath Arkansas regulation to soundly pull-off the roadway and cease when a police officer prompts the patrol car emergency lights and siren. The language of the regulation is crystal clear,’ mentioned State Police Director Colonel Invoice Bryant in a press release reported by The Impartial.

‘Ought to a driver make the choice to disregard the regulation and flee from police, state troopers are educated to contemplate their choices.

‘Based mostly on the totality of circumstances a state trooper might deploy spike strips to deflate the tires of the car being pursued, execute a boxing method to comprise the pursuit slowing the motive force to a cease, execute a PIT maneuver or terminate the pursuit.

‘Most Arkansas State Police pursuits finish and not using a PIT maneuver being utilized.’

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