This Arkansas State Trooper video shows a confusing scene. After the woman driving the SUV sees the lights and hears the siren blare she maneuvers her car over to the side of the road. Slowing down and putting on her flashers until she finds a safe place to stop, that wasn’t enough for the Arkansas Police. His pit maneuver caused the SUV to lose control, rolling over and crashing into the center divider.
The driver has filed a lawsuit claiming Arkansas Police used deadly force
Now, the owner of the SUV has filed a lawsuit against Arkansas State Troopers. According to the Arkansas State Police Driver License Study Guide, the driver did exactly what she was supposed to do upon seeing those red lights flashing.
But when the trooper comes upon the scene he tells her she was supposed to pull over and stop immediately. You can clearly see how narrow the shoulder is. She told him she was only proceeding until she found a safe place to stop.
Local news station Fox 16 says it has uncovered 144 cases of accidents caused by similar Arkansas Police pit maneuvers in 2020 alone. In those incidents three people were killed as a result. Now the pregnant woman in this case says it is the police using deadly force over traffic citations.
Did she follow Arkansas’ recommendations when being pulled over?
The officer’s body mic records the conversation once he gets to the overturned SUV. “In my head, I was going to lose the baby,” she says. “Why didn’t you stop,” Dunn questioned. “Because I didn’t feel it was safe,” Harper said. Dunn responded, “Well this is where you ended up.” Harper says, “I thought it would be safe to wait until the exit.” Dunn said, “No ma’am, you pull over when law enforcement stops you.”
Again, that is not what the Arkansas State Police Driver License Study Guide says to do. It says to do exactly what Ms. Harper did. Officer Dunn gave Harper only two minutes before he lost patience and conducted the pit maneuver. She was less than a mile from an exit which would have been far safer for both her and the trooper.
“All you had to do was slow down and stop”
Later in the footage, Officer Dunn says, “No, we don’t anticipate vehicles rolling over nor do we want that to happen. All you had to do was slow down and stop.” Harper responded, “I did slow down, I turned on my hazards, I thought I was doing the right thing.”
The nonprofit FairWarning estimates that around 20 percent of police chase-related deaths happen to bystanders. A more frustrating part is that the subjects of those pursuits usually aren’t charged with a crime. So in the end you have to ask, “What’s the point?”