An officer with the DeKalb (GA) County Police Department stands accused of kicking a woman in the stomach several months ago — a woman who happened to be nearly nine months pregnant at the time.
Jerad Wheeler had responded to a call about a domestic dispute over child custody involving Raven Dozier's brother. When the situation became heated, Wheeler fired his Taser at the man. Dozier says she then became upset and started crying, at which point Wheeler allegedly kicked her in the stomach.
He also charged her with obstruction of a police officer, though that charge was later dropped.
According to the officer, Dozier was being aggressive, and the kick was a regulation "front push-kick to the abdomen" that "he was taught to do at the academy." Also, he says it was dark and she was wearing clothes that obscured the fact that she was pregnant.
Five of Wheeler's supervising officers OK'd the use of force, and no formal investigation took place.
This, despite the fact that Wheeler was involved in two previous incidents that led to use-of-force complaints: One in which he twisted the arm of a 53-year-old woman, and another in which he shot a dog chained up inside a garage at the wrong address.
He was let off the hook in both cases.
"What kind of a human being kicks a pregnant woman? I mean, forget whether or not it is a police officer that is supposedly protecting people," says Dozier's attorney Mark Bullman.
Luckily, despite heavy bruising caused by the kick, Dozier's emergency C-section went well, and she gave birth to a healthy baby boy named Levi.
"I believe that something should be done. Men go to jail every day for hitting women and it's not OK just because he is a police officer," Dozier told Channel 2 Action News.
A criminal investigation into the incident is presently under way.
[images via WSB-TV]