I’m seeking further details, but a Facebook post by Cammack Village police caused confusion among some who thought settlement of a lawsuit by State Police ended the use of the PIT maneuver — an intentional crash — to end chases.
It did not, though plaintiffs in the case said the lawsuit resulted in a modification of State Police policy to say:
The PIT maneuver should only be utilized when an ASP officer believes it is objectively reasonable to protect a third person or an officer from imminent death or serious physical injury or when an ASP officer objectively believes other exigent circumstances exist (i.e. using the PIT maneuver to conclude a pursuit subsequent to the deployment of Hollow Spike Strips)
Cody Hiland, chief counsel for the department that includes State Police, has been reluctant to admit wrongdoing by troopers in the rising use of PIT and has defended continued use of the maneuver before legislators and elsewhere. The State Police news release on settlement of the lawsuit read more like a defense of the maneuver and the trooper who wrecked a pregnant woman’s SUV after she slowed, turned on warning lights and began looking for a place to safely pull over on a dangerous stretch of Highway 67-167 near Jacksonville. The release acknowledged the trooper had received unspecified discipline for failure to comply with policy on use of force but noted he had an “exemplary” record and was back at work.
What justified a vehicle chase through at least three cities by four police agencies? Who made the PIT decision and why? Had spike strips been deployed? What constitutes drug paraphernalia and burglary tools?
I’m seeking answers.
UPDATE: State Police answered few of my questions, which included what trooper made the stop, why PIT was deemed justified in this case (beyond a refusal to stop), what specifically was found in the driver’s car and so on. The official statement from Bill Sadler:
Little Rock Police contacted Arkansas State Police at 3:36 AM today [November 22, 2021] requesting assistance in stopping a vehicle being pursued by a Cammack Village police officer along Interstate 430, north of Cantrell Road.
At 3:41 AM two state troopers at Crystal Hill Road and McArthur Drive located a maroon color Jeep Wrangler believed to be the vehicle fleeing from Cammack Village Police.
State troopers initiated an attempted traffic stop, however the driver of the suspect vehicle refused to stop, and a pursuit began that continued along McArthur Drive. As the vehicle approached Cochise Drive a precision intervention technique [PIT] was executed which immobilized the suspect vehicle.
Jay Dodson,47, was taken into custody by state troopers and turned-over to Cammack Village police for detention and formal charges.
The sheriff’s office jail roster shows Dodson was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, fleeing, reckless driving and disregarding stop or yield signs. He was being held on an order from circuit court for failure to comply with orders in drug court.
UPDATE: one question answered.
Sergeant Alan Johnson and Trooper Jacob Byrd were involved in the pursuit. Trooper Byrd executed the PIT.