An Arkansas state soldier overturned a pregnant woman’s car on the freeway last year as, the woman said, she was looking for a safe place to pull over. Now she’s chasing the officer, the master corporal. Rodney Dunn, accusing him of negligent use of lethal force.
The Dashcam video posted this week shows 38-year-old Nicole Harper driving a section of Highway 67/167 in July 2020. She was reportedly doing 84 mph in a 70 mph zone.
Dunn turns on his lights and siren and chases Harper, who immediately slows down, gets into the right lane and turns on his hazard lights.
According to the lawsuit, narrow shoulders on this stretch of highway prevented Harper from fully parking, so she continued to drive in the right lane at 60 mph with her hazards activated.
About two minutes later, Dunn performed what was called a “precision immobilization technique” against Harper’s vehicle, intentionally causing him to lose control. In the clip, you can see Harper’s SUV swerve left, toward the middle of the concrete highway. In a few seconds, the car is upside down.
Dunn walks over to the overturned car. As he helps Harper out of the vehicle, he asks, “Why didn’t you stop? “
“Because I didn’t feel like it was safe,” Harper replies. Dunn replies, “Well, that’s where you ended up.”
“I thought it would be safe to wait for the exit,” Harper replies, to which Dunn says, “No ma’am, you stop when law enforcement stops you.”
Harper later said, “I slowed down, I activated my dangers. I thought I was doing the right thing.
In the Arkansas State Police Driver’s License Study Guide, the first item of “what to do when you are stopped by a law enforcement officer” is, “Pull over on the road. right side of the road activate your turn signal or emergency turn signals to let the officer know you are looking for a safe place to stop.
Harper, who was pregnant at the time of the crash, told Fox 16 she believed she would lose the baby because of it. Fortunately, her unborn daughter was not injured.
In a statement to KARK, Arkansas State Police Director Col. Bill Bryant did not comment on the details of the case, but defended the use of PIT maneuvers in general as a important tool for stopping drivers who try to flee.
“Over the past five years, the Arkansas State Troopers have documented a 52% increase in incidents of drivers making a conscious choice to ignore soldier-initiated traffic stops,” said Bryant. “Runaway drivers move away at high speed, drive wild, dangerously overtake other vehicles, show no respect for the safety of other motorists, creating an imminent threat to the public.”
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