What Experiencing a PIT Maneuver Is Like As Some Call for the Tactic to Be Banned

The controversial police technique is under scrutiny after it was performed on a pregnant Arkansas woman who alleges in a lawsuit that she had turned on her flashers and was looking for a safe place to pull over.

There’s been a lot of reaction to the story about an Arkansas state trooper ramming into the back of a pregnant woman's car, causing her to flip over. The controversial police technique is called a PIT maneuver, and it’s led to a number of accidental fatalities.

The maneuver was first developed by the FBI to be used against terrorists and has since become a widely-used police tactic. But at least 30 people have been killed in PIT maneuvers since 2016. Eighteen deaths stemmed from minor traffic offenses.

Some police departments already prohibit the tactic, and there are calls for it to be banned nationwide.

“A PIT maneuver should only be employed when there’s a situation where the individual in particular presents a significant danger to the public if they're not taken into custody,” criminal justice expert Dr. Darrin Porcher told Inside Edition. 

Experienced instructors in Las Vegas showed Inside Edition correspondent Jim Moret what it's like to be in a heart-stopping police chase. Even in a controlled setting, Moret wasn’t prepared for what happened next. In an instant after the PIT maneuver, Moret lost control of the car and went into a dizzying, heart-stopping spin — and that was at just 30 miles per hour.

There’s little wonder why PIT maneuvers at higher speeds, like the one executed on the pregnant driver in Arkansas, may have more serious outcomes.

Arkansas State Police defended using the PIT maneuver, claiming the pregnant woman was speeding and wouldn't pull over. She's now suing, claiming the trooper put her and her baby's life in danger despite the fact that she had turned on her flashers and was looking for a safe place to pull over.

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