Nicole Harper incident throws spotlight on police's use of PIT maneuver
Harper was two months pregnant when her SUV was flipped over by an Arkansas state trooper trying to force her to pull over.
Dashcam footage of the incident has been released by Harper's lawyers as she is suing Dunnalleging that his use of the maneuverwas negligent and put her life at risk.The footage shows Dunn turning on his blue lights and trying to get Harper to pull over for allegedly driving at 84 mph in a 70 mph zone. Harper can then be seen reducing her speed and turning on her emergency flashers, indicating that she was intending to pull over.
Harper said she was looking for a safe space to pull over as the shoulder on the interstate was too narrow.A short while later, Dunn performs a PIT, which is commonly used by police to end high-speed chases. The maneuver involves a patrol car nudging the back of the suspect's car, causing it to spin and come to a halt.
According to California Highway Patrol instructions:"The key to proper execution of the PIT is finesse. Ideally, the initial contact with the subject vehicle should be so gentle the operator of the subject vehicle is not aware that contact has been made." headtopics.com
After Dunn hit Harper's car, her SUV flipped over entirely."I thought it would be safer to wait until the exit," Harper can be heard telling Dunn while still upside down in her car."No, ma'am, you should pull over when law enforcement stops you," Dunn replies while helping her out of the vehicle."We call that a PIT maneuver. When people flee from us … that's what happens."
"I wasn't fleeing," Harper responds.The use of the maneuver has come into question because of its potentially deadly outcomes.According to aWashington Postreport from August 2020, at least 30 people have died and hundreds more have been injured in PIT incidents since 2016.
Of those 30 deaths, 18 took place after officers attempted to stop vehicles for minor violations such as speeding. Four of the people who died were bystanders or the victim of a crime.The total number of fatalities and injuries is unknown because police departments in the U.S. are not required to keep track of the incidents by the federal government.
According to an investigation by16, Arkansas State Police used or attempted to use the technique at least 306 times between January 2017 and December 2020. Half of the incidents took place last year.TheWashington Postarticle published last August points out that Arkansas State Police performed a PIT maneuver at 109 mph to end a chase in Fort Smith on April 10, 2020. The subject, Justin Battenfield, was killed. Officers began their pursuit of Battenfield after he allegedly failed to stop at a traffic signal. headtopics.com
Because of the maneuver's unpredictability, a number of states say officers should not use the PIT during high-speed chases.In North Carolina, PITs can only be used if the suspect's car is traveling at less than 55 miles per hour. The Nevada Highway Patrol's policy states that a PIT cannot be performed unless"the suspect is an actual or suspected felon who reasonably appears to represent a serious threat to society if not apprehended," according to an Intercept article in 2016.
Other agencies are banned from using a PIT against motorcycles or vehicles carrying hazardous materials."The PIT is a risky maneuver, period. It is," Rick Giovengo, a former officer who has studied and taught PITs at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers, told Fox 16.
"The speed, the people in the car, the crime that's been committed, those are things that all have to be taken into consideration by the responding officer before they do the PIT." Read more: Newsweek »
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Good! Has the identity of the trooper who elected to do this come out yet?
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Arkansas woman suing police after brief chase ends with her car flipped on its topMotorist Nicole Harper was two months pregnant and believed the crash had killed her unborn baby. DefundThePolice EndPoliceBrutality EndQualifiedImmunity I support the police, but not in this instance. He should have at least waited, following her until they reached an exit. .. this is insane. The cop should be prosecuted for attempted murder
Video shows moment Arkansas state trooper flips pregnant woman's car Arkansas Police dashcam video shows the moment a state trooper caused a pregnant woman's car to flip on its top with a so-called pursuit intervention technique or PIT maneuver. wtf... Is this the same woman who decided to run from police while pregnant All cops are criminals