Arkansas Cop Flipped Pregnant Woman's Car in PIT Maneuver as She Looked for a Safe Place to Pull Over: Lawsuit
According to the trooper, Harper was allegedly speeding and didn’t pull over fast enough after he turned on his sirens. After the car flipped, Harper feared she had lost her unborn baby.
An Arkansas woman has filed a lawsuit against a state trooper, claiming he negligently performed a PIT maneuver and caused her car to flip on the interstate last July. Nicole Harper, who was pregnant at the time, told the trooper from the overturned vehicle that she had her flashers on and was looking for a safe place to pull over.
"I'm pregnant with my first child that took 10 years to conceive, so of course it's devastating thinking I'm losing my baby. I'm literally hanging upside down by my seatbelt," Harper told Inside Edition.
According to the trooper, Harper was allegedly speeding and didn’t pull over fast enough after he turned on his sirens. After the state trooper rammed the car’s rear bumper, it spun out of control across the highway, hit a wall and flipped over.
“Are you the only one in the vehicle?” the trooper asks Harper in dashcam footage.
“Yes. I'm pregnant,” Harper responded.
“Well, ma'am, you've got to pull over when you're stopped,” the trooper said.
“I had my flashers on,” Harper said.
“It doesn't matter, ma'am,” the trooper said.
But the official Arkansas driver license study guide tells drivers being pulled over to activate your turn signal or emergency flashers to indicate that you are seeking a safe place to stop.
“I thought it would be safer to wait until the exit,” Harper said.
“No ma'am, you should pull over when law enforcement stops you, OK?” the trooper said.
Bumping a fleeing car is called a PIT maneuver, which stands for "pursuit intervention technique." The controversial practice is used by police departments across America, but at least 30 people have died and hundreds more were injured in PIT maneuvers since 2016.
"A PIT maneuver is somewhat of a troubling tactic, because you can't control the directional flight of the vehicle that's being struck. Here in New York City, for example, the NYPD prohibits PIT maneuvers for that same reason," retired NYPD lieutenant Darrin Porcher told Inside Edition.
Arkansas State Troopers said in a statement, “PIT has saved lives among those who choose to obey the law against those who choose to run from police.”
Harper’s baby, born in February, is fine.
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