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Police flip a pregnant woman’s car with the PIT maneuver, now she’s suing

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (BIKER DAD)–Police flip a pregnant woman’s car with the PIT maneuver, now she’s suing. The dashcam video tells the story in frightening detail. You can watch it above.

Nicole Harper is driving down an Arkansas Highway. That’s when a trooper pulls her over for speeding. Harper doesn’t pull over but does slow down and move to the right. She puts on her flashers to indicate she doesn’t think it’s safe to pull over in that spot. KARK reports that’s exactly what the state’s drivers handbook says to do.

Instead of following her to a safe area the trooper hits the rear corner of her vehicle. That sends it spinning and crashing. “They hit the inside wall,” you can hear the trooper say on the video. The cop car spins around and Harper’s vehicle comes back into view, “they rolled over. Get me EMS started,” the trooper radios.

The aftermath

The maroon SUV is upside down and smoking. Then trooper doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to check on the pregnant woman now trapped upside down. He gets out of the car and walks over to check it out.

Jumping ahead in the video, trooper and Harper standing on the side of the road discussing what just happened. “You were running 84,” the trooper says. “I agree I was speeding,” Harper replies.

“I didn’t even think it was safe for you to pull over here,” she says. “That’s what we do out here. There’s shoulders on the right shoulders and shoulders on the left,” the trooper retorts, “this is what happens when people don’t stop for us.” That’s when Harper says “you wreck us!!?”

Huge increase in PIT use

“We hit the vehicles,” the cop replies. And KARK reports that’s happening much more often on Arkansas’ roads. The station reports that police used the PIT maneuver more than 140 times last year. State Police say the increase is due to more drivers refusing to stop. You can read their full statement belows.

“I did slow down. I turned on my hazards. I thought I was doing the right thing. I didn’t think this was enough room for you to come up to my car and be safe. Honestly,” Harper says at the end of the video.

Full unedited statement from Arkansas State Troopers

“Over the past five years Arkansas State Troopers have documented a 52 percent increase in incidents of drivers making a conscious choice to ignore traffic stops initiated by the troopers.  Instead of stopping, the drivers try to flee.  In more populated areas of the state, the incidents of fleeing from troopers have risen by more than 80 percent.  The fleeing drivers pull away at a high rate of speed, wildly driving, dangerously passing other vehicles, showing no regard for the safety of other motorists, creating an imminent threat to the public.  

The Arkansas State Police began using the Precision Immobilization Technique (PIT) over two decades ago.  Trooper recruits while attending the department’s academy receive comprehensive initial training in the use of PIT.  All incumbent troopers receive recurring annual training in emergency vehicle operations which includes PIT instruction.  

There’s a fundamental state law none of us should ever forget.  All drivers are required under Arkansas law to safely pull-off the roadway and stop when a police officer activates the patrol vehicle emergency lights and siren.  The language of the law is crystal clear.  Upon the immediate approach of an authorized emergency vehicle displaying the signal to stop, the driver must pull-over and stop. *(see Arkansas statutes ACA §27-51-901 & §27-49-107)  

Should a driver make the decision to ignore the law and flee from police, state troopers are trained to consider their options.  Based on the totality of circumstances a state trooper could deploy spike strips to deflate the tires of the vehicle being pursued, execute a boxing technique to contain the pursuit slowing the driver to a stop, execute a PIT maneuver or terminate the pursuit.  

Most Arkansas State Police pursuits end without a PIT maneuver being utilized.  

PIT has proven to be an effective tool to stop drivers who are placing others in harm’s way.  It has saved lives among those who choose to obey the law against those who choose to run from police.  In every case a state trooper has used a PIT maneuver, the fleeing driver could have chosen to end the pursuit by doing what all law-abiding citizens do every day when a police officer turns-on the blue lights – they pull over and stop.” COLONEL BILL BRYANT 

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