Pregnant Woman Sues Police After PIT Maneuver Causes Rollover
If even cops go this far for speeding.
Eight days ago, Arkansas' FOX-16 outlet reported on a July 2020 case involving Nicole Harper, whose car flipped after a PIT manoeuvre by officer Rodney Dunn, who flagged harper for speeding. For her part, Harper was clearly slowing down to pull over in a safe spot and had her warning lights on, but Dunn still punted Harper's SUV anyway. Footage has finally surfaced, and the exchange, as transcribed below, is telling.
[“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.”]
Except it turns out that Harper is actually in the right after all. Harper's call to slow down and find room to stop is part of the Drivers License Study Guide that the State Police ensures drivers must understand. There really isn't a safe place in that section of road, argues lawyer Andrew Norwood, who represents Harper.
"It's essentially a bowling alley with bumpers on both sides," Norwood said. "There's nowhere to go; you're boxed in by concrete barriers on both sides." He added that Dunn's manoeuvre constituted "deadly force", and is now fighting to change the procedures in apprehending traffic violators using punts. And Harper is not alone: FOX-16 reported 144 punts last year, with three deaths.
One recent development arose since: Arkansas Police didn't see it fit to mete out disciplinary action against Dunn as of the time of this writing. Colonel Bill Bryant is adamant that Harper should have stopped immediately. Still, there is a reason why Harper and her lawyer are suing the officer, and by extension, the police force, though it remains to be seen what will happen later.