An Arkansas police officer is being sued for flipping a pregnant woman's car because she "pulled over too slowly."
Nicole Harper, who was pregnant at the time, is suing Arkansas police and the officer involved after her car was flipped using a PIT manoeuvre.
This is nuts. Nicole Harper was pulled over by an Arkansas state trooper. She pulled to the side, turned on her hazards, and looked for an exit.— Sawyer Hackett (@SawyerHackett) June 9, 2021
He waited 20 seconds and then used a PIT maneuver to flip her car. She was pregnant. pic.twitter.com/hYIg6hVT7W
The distressing incident, that took place in June last year and was captured on police dash cam, left Harper believing her unborn child had been killed.
According to the lawsuit by Harper, she was clocked at 84MPH in a 70MPH zone when she was spotted by Officer Rodney Dunn who activated his lights and siren before following behind her.
The footage then showed Harper indicate and decrease her speed.
Following that, she activated her hazard lights and tried to find a decent spot to pull over as the shoulder was narrow.
After around 2 minutes of following Harper, Dunn edged closer to her vehicle and decided it was necessary to use a pursuit intervention technique, also know a PIT manoeuvre.
Ofc. Rodney Dunn flipped a pregnant woman's car after she didn't pull over quick enough. It's CLEARLY not safe for her to stop on a poorly-lit rural road. She did exactly the right thing but this cop was on a power trip! How is he still employed 1 yr later? #EndQualifiedImmunity pic.twitter.com/cpVTaVmERE— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) June 10, 2021
Dunn hit the back of Harper's car, sending it spiraling out of control.
The car then smashed into a concrete barrier before rolling over onto its roof.
The dash cam footage shows Harper screaming that she is pregnant, as Officer Dunn approached the car.
Arkansas State Police specifically instruct drivers to turn on their hazards to communicate with the officer and not to pull over until they reach a safe location.— John Brown Institute of Virology (@johnbrownsbeard) June 10, 2021
It doesn't matter how long it took, the highway conditions didn't change. pic.twitter.com/HnBKx25lhv
"It didn't look like there was enough room!" Harper said with Dunn replying, "Well this is where you ended up."
By activating her flashes, Harper actually followed Arkansas State Police's own Driver License Study Guide. The guide states that when instructed to stop by law enforcement, drivers should "activate your turn signal or emergency flashers to indicate to the officer that you are seeking a safe place to stop."
In an interview with Fox16, Harper explained, "In my head, I was going to lose the baby."
She did exactly what the Arkansas drivers handbook says to do. The officer Dunn should be fired. What if she’d had kids in the car?! Not to mention she herself was pregnant!! Not cool @ARStatePolice 😡 is what how we treat our daughters and mothers on the road?! Shame— Josh Metcalf Species 5618 🖖 (@JoshMetcalf4701) June 10, 2021
"What if I had kids in the car? He wouldn't have known. Did that matter? What was going through his head? What made him think this was okay?"
Harper's attorney, Andrew Norwood, accused the officer of using "deadly force," TooFab reports.
Speaking with NBC News, Norwood described the road as "essentially a bowling alley with bumpers on both sides."
"There's nowhere to go; you're boxed in by concrete barriers on both sides," he said, "What was done is ridiculous… It's extremely dangerous what was done."
Arkansas police are being represented by the Attorney General's Office...
And the police department reportedly plans to fight the lawsuit.
Although, despite the outcome, it is unlikely to have a personal impact on Dunn as Arkansas law means he is immune from any personal responsibility for his actions.