Little Rock, Ark. -- The ACLU of Arkansans is calling on state legislators to investigate a commonly used, dangerous traffic maneuver that resulted in three deaths last year. The maneuver, referred to as Precision Immobilization Technique (PIT), is when an officer deliberately hits a fleeing vehicle, causing it to spin out.
Nicole Harper recently sued Arkansas State police for negligence and excessive use of force when a trooper flipped her vehicle during an attempted traffic stop while she was pregnant last July. Dashcam video shows the officer using the maneuver less than two minutes after turning on his blue lights.
“These deadly maneuvers are a reminder that police are routinely escalating mere traffic violations into dangerous situations that endanger the lives of all motorists. The Arkansas General Assembly must scrutinize the unnecessary and excessive use of traffic maneuvers like PIT,” said Holly Dickson, executive director of the ACLU of Arkansas. “Nicole Harper was forced into a horrific and life-threatening crash by a police officer and the senseless risk to her life and the lives of others should concern every Arkansan. Incidents like these also demonstrate the need for a statewide oversight board to investigate police misconduct and abuse, and a fundamental re-imagining of the role of police in our communities. What we’re seeing on this video is not safety – it's deadly force and reckless endangerment – and it needs to stop.”
According to an investigation by Fox16, Harper’s incident is not an anomaly; in 2020 Arkansas officers attempted to use PIT on more than 144 drivers.