Arkansas State Police announce settlement agreement following PIT maneuver complaint

Arkansas State police

The Arkansas State Police says they have reached a settlement agreement in a civil action filed earlier in 2021 arising out of a July 9, 2020 traffic stop wherein the PIT maneuver used by a trooper failed to comply with state laws.

State Police say that Corporal Rod Dunn used a precision immobilization technique (PIT) to force Janice Harper’s vehicle to stop.

According to police, around two weeks after the use of force incident, an internal complaint was filed by department supervisors. State Police say that the subsequent mandatory internal review of the incident led by Highway Patrol Division commanders found that Cpl. Dunn, a 27-year veteran of the department, failed to comply with the state police “use of force” policy in executing the PIT maneuver.

The State Police says they periodically initiate revisions to its pursuit policy to ensure it is consistent with applicable case law and existing training related to the PIT maneuver. The department has consistently required its troopers to apply an objectively reasonable standard when using the PIT maneuver, according to state police.

According to state police statistics, from 2016 through July 2021, there have been greater than a 170% increase in the number of pursuits in Central Arkansas. The increase, according to state police, raises the risk to Arkansans, and state police say that troopers remain committed to ensuring the safety of the public by terminating pursuits the troopers reasonably believe places the public at serious risk of physical injury or death.

Cpl. Dunn continues his role as a state trooper assigned to the Highway Patrol Division, according to state police.