Arkansas Police Settles Lawsuit With Pregnant Woman After Her Car Was Flipped Over By Police.

A settlement has been reached between the Arkansas State Police and a Central Arkansas woman after a July 2020 traffic stop in which a so-called PIT maneuver was used by a state trooper, officials said Friday.

According to a media release from the Arkansas State Police, the settlement was done in a civil action involving State Trooper Rod Dunn and Janice Harper.

Harper, who was two months pregnant at the time of the crash, was seen slowing down and putting on her hazard lights and was looking for a safe place to stop, KARK said. The road had concrete barriers near the highway.

Arkansas trooper denies any wrongdoing after using PIT maneuver to stop vehicle | KATV

Dunn then used the PIT or precision immobilization maneuver and the vehicle crashed, KARK reported. ASP did an internal review of the crash

“Approximately two weeks after the use of force incident, an internal complaint was filed by department supervisors. The subsequent mandatory internal review of the incident led by Highway Patrol Division commanders found that Corporal Dunn failed to comply with the state police Use of Force policy in executing the PIT maneuver,”

ASP said. “The internal review process resulted in disciplinary action taken against Corporal Dunn, who prior to the incident, had maintained an exemplary record of service.” Officials said Dunn, who has been with ASP for 27 years, continues as a state trooper assigned to the Highway Patrol Division.

ASP noted there has been a 170% increase in the number of pursuits in Central Arkansas from 2016 through July 2021.

Woman suing Arkansas State Police after PIT maneuver flips her car while she was PREGNANT | Daily Mail Online

“The increase raises the risk to innocent Arkansans and state troopers remain committed to ensuring the safety of the public by terminating pursuits the troopers reasonably believe places the public at serious risk of physical injury or death,” ASP said Friday.

Lawmakers also discussed the issue during a legislative hearing earlier this month, hearing from Arkansas State Police Director Col. Bill Bryant on the issue. As part of the settlement, the ASP has had troopers undergo additional training after learning of the PIT maneuver used on Harper.

“We are extremely pleased that we were able to secure the policy changes and updated guidelines pertaining to the use of PIT maneuvers which was the primary goal of this case and will help protect all Arkansans moving forward,” attorney Andrew Norwood said.

“While Mrs. Harper will undoubtedly need time to recover from the psychological trauma she suffered after the PIT maneuver in question, she is excited to close this chapter of her life and focus more on her family.”

Woman suing Arkansas State Police after PIT maneuver flips her car while she was PREGNANT | Daily Mail Online

Records show that ASP trooper Rodney Dunn attempted a traffic stop for speeding on Harper while she was driving south on U.S. Highway 67 / 167 in Pulaski County on July 9, 2020.

Dash camera video showed Harper slowing down and turning on her hazard lights, and she said she was looking for a safe place to pull off the road, which had concrete barriers alongside the highway.

Several minutes later, the trooper conducted a PIT maneuver, which resulted in the plaintiff’s vehicle crashing. At the time of the crash, Harper was two months pregnant.

After reviewing video footage of the incident and PIT maneuver in question, Harper’s attorneys said they learned that every one of the trooper’s superiors determined the situation reflected a violation of ASP policy related to the PIT maneuver.

Woman suing Arkansas State Police after PIT maneuver flips her car while she was PREGNANT | Daily Mail Online

The ASP, as part of the settlement agreement, has agreed to change its Use of Force policy as it relates to PIT maneuvers and institute an “objective standard” required to justify the maneuver’s use versus the previous “subjective standard.”

The change means the previous restrictions on using PIT maneuvers, such as in cases involving trucks carrying hazardous materials or larger vans or buses, will now be expanded. The new threshold moves the standard for use to when a trooper trying to “protect a third person or an officer from imminent death or serious physical injury.”

In a statement sent Friday afternoon, ASP noted that Dunn, a 27-year veteran of the agency, remained an active trooper in the Highway Patrol Division.






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