Jerad Wheeler, Georgia Police Officer, Under Investigation For Kicking Pregnant Raven Dozier
A police officer in Georgia is under criminal investigation for allegedly kicking a woman who was nearly nine-months pregnant in the stomach before charging her with obstruction of justice.
In an incident report filed on Dec. 12, 2011, Dekalb County Police Officer Jerad Wheeler wrote that he gave "three verbal commands to 'Get back'" to Raven Dozier. The woman was in her third trimester at the time and visibly distraught over witnessing Wheeler taser her brother, Darius Usher, in response to a domestic disturbance.
Wheeler wrote that Dozier began "moving aggressively," prompting the officer to "kick her in the stomach to push her back," just as he was "taught to do in the Academy," according to the report.
Approximately six months later -- following an overlooked internal affairs complaint and a premature birth by C-section -- Dozier is suing the county as the district attorney investigates Wheeler's actions.
"This officer is just another loose cannon," Dozier's attorney, Mark Bullman, told The Huffington Post. "And I don't know how a 180-pound pregnant woman comes at you aggressively."
Bullman says that Wheeler, at the advice of his supervisor, arrested Dozier because he would "need to be justified" for kicking a pregnant woman if "something were to happen to the baby."
Police charged Dozier with obstruction and disorderly conduct, a "higher charge than the guy they tased," Bullman said.
"At the time of the altercation it was very dark and Ms. Dozier had a larger shirt on," Wheeler wrote in his report. "I could not tell by the sight of her at the time that she was pregnant."
Wheeler placed Dozier in the back seat of his vehicle and brought her to the police station. Authorities gave her a choice.
"They asked me did I want to go to jail or to the hospital," Dozier later wrote in a complaint filed with the Dakalb County Police. "I said I wanted to go to the hospital."
Doctors could already see contusions and spotting, according to Bullman. The attorney says that the infant became ill within the womb as a result of defecation from the impact.
Following the hospital visit, police returned Dozier to the station "where she was refused by intake," according to the police report. Authorities gave Dozier a court date and released her.
Records show that Dozier filed a complaint with the DeKalb police department's internal affairs unit, but authorities never investigated the incident. Instead, four supervisors and an internal affairs detective approved the actions, stating that the use of force met policy, .
The Dekalb District Attorney's Office has since dropped the charges against Dozier, who is now suing a county where her attorney says police officers are "off the chain."
Wheeler is also the focus of two other questionable incidents in which he is accused of killing an innocent family's leashed dog and forcing a 53-year-old woman's face onto a police vehicle.
Two weeks after being kicked in the stomach, Dozier prematurely delivered her child by C-section. Her son, Levi, is doing well.