On the night of July 9, 2020, Nicole Harper went to bed crying. Thinking she wasn̵7;t pregnant after Arkansas State Police — using police force to end a car chase — flipped her car on the highway after he accused her of not doing it. Drive fast enough while the car stops.
After the accident An emergency room doctor told Harper. who at that time was two months pregnant saying “not all pregnancy is possible” and he did not detect a heartbeat. Her attorney, Andrew Norwood, told BuzzFeed News on Friday.
However, the next day, doctors detected a heartbeat. and Harper, who spent many years conceiving. Now the mother of a four-month-old baby, Norwood said.
But Harper is suing the state troopers for the charges. “Negligence,” a “precise immobilization technique,” or PIT, is a driving style used by law enforcement that can have serious consequences.
In a civil lawsuit filed last month, Harper alleged that Rodney K. Dunn’s use of state trooper PIT flipped her car and “Putting her life and the life of her unborn child at risk.”
Harper is seeking damages after she receives it. “Body wounds mental anguish humiliation and shame,” the lawsuit said.
She also battled two criminal charges against her of speeding 1 to 15 miles over the limit and failing to succumb to an emergency vehicle. her lawyer said. A criminal trial is scheduled for November.
While the civil lawsuit alleges that Harper suffered severe bodily injury, Norwood declined to elaborate on these, but said the “mental damage she suffered was worse than physical abuse.”
“She doesn’t want money. She wants PIT to reevaluate the policy,” Norwood said. “You shouldn’t flip someone’s car for minimal traffic violations.”
Arkansas State Police declined to comment. by referring to the case under consideration But a spokesman said on Friday that the agency “continues to instruct and train state soldiers in comprehensive emergency vehicle operations training. This includes the approved procedures for using PIT.”
Norwood said Harper was not trying to escape from the police. And she poses no threat to anyone during the chase. Norwood said it was a victimless crime that required officers to exert excessive and unreasonable force against her.
That night, Harper was driving home alone on U.S. Highway 67/167 after watching a movie with family members when Dunn began stopping traffic to go 84 mph in a 70 mph zone.
He turned on the lights and sirens while chasing Harper. which immediately turned on her emergency lights slow down and drive into the right lane, according to a dashcam video provided to BuzzFeed News by Norwood.
Harper felt there wasn’t enough room on either side of the highway as concrete walls safely blocked her car. She said in her lawsuit and spoke to Dunn immediately after the accident. Instead, she turned on the blinking light. Reduce the speed to about 60 mph. and wait to park at the exit in front The case stated
Just two minutes into the chase, Dunn used PIT – knocking his car into the back of Harper’s car – to force her to stop. PIT caused her red SUV to deflect sharply to the left towards a concrete wall. And a few seconds later the car turned over. Let Harper hang upside down in her seat.
As Dunn was helping Harper get out of the car, he was heard asking her in the dashcam video, “Why didn’t you stop?”
“Because I didn’t feel safe… I didn’t feel like I had enough space,” Harper’s words were heard.
“You finally ended up with this,” Dunn replied, as Harper struggled to get out of the car.
She overheard Dunn, “I’m pregnant!” to which Dunn said, “Madam, when we’ve told you, You have to back off.”
during the conversation Hearing that Harper agrees with Dunn that she is speeding. But said she didn’t think her shoulders were wide enough to pull her. She then told him that’s why she turned on the emergency lights to indicate that she was going to stop in front.
“I don’t think it’s safe for you to go there,” heard her tell Dunn. “I think it’s safe to wait until the exit.”
Dunn then told her how the police used the PIT scheme when they believed someone was fleeing.
“I’ve been doing this for 27 years and when people don’t stop We don’t know what happened in the car,” Dunn said.
“When people don’t stop for emergency vehicles. We’ll put an end to this right here. before you get into heavy traffic,” adds Dunn, “that’s why we’re here.”
In 2020, the Washington Post reports that since 2016, at least 30 people have been killed and hundreds more injured when police use PIT maneuvers to end car chases. At least 18 deaths were caused by police trying to stop cars for minor traffic violations, such as speeding. And at least four people died as bystanders or victims of crime.
Norwood said there was no point Dunn apologized to Harper for putting her life in danger. And he was unaware of any disciplinary action against the authorities. The case also named Dunn’s supervisor, Alan C. Johnson, and Arkansas State Police Director William Bryant as defendants.
Norwood said he and Harper had personally contacted the state police on several occasions to resolve the issue. and urged them to review the PIT policy again, but said they refused.
Meanwhile, Norwood said Harper was still traumatized by the incident. And added that he didn’t show her the dashcam video until three weeks ago.
“I don’t want you to think about that,” he said.