Supervisors squashed investigation, described actions as “within department policy”
May 11, 2012
A police officer from Dekalb County, Ga. with a history of violent conduct kicked a heavily pregnant woman in the stomach in a recent incident that the officer’s superiors described as within department policy.
The incident occurred when officer Jerad Wheeler was called to the pregnant woman’s home to settle a dispute involving the woman’s brother and his partner.
When her brother began arguing with the officer, nine month pregnant Raven Dozier said that Wheeler pulled out a taser and used it on him. When Miss Dozier started crying and asking the officer why he was resorting to such actions, Wheeler kicked her in the stomach, arrested her and charged her with obstruction of a police officer.
“I was upset because I couldn’t believe an officer would kick me, with my child in my stomach,” Dozier told WSBTV investigative reporter Jodie Fleischer.
“I think he really just didn’t want me asking him any questions, questioning him, and when I did question him is when he kicked me,” Dozier added.
Thankfully, the child was not affected and was born healthy via an emergency C-section two weeks after the incident. The charges against Dozier were dropped.
“What kind of a human being kicks a pregnant woman?” said Dozier’s attorney Mark Bullman. “I mean, forget whether or not it is a police officer that is supposedly protecting people.”
Dozier filed an internal affairs complaint with the Dekalb County Police Department, however, officer Wheeler’s superiors put a lid on the investigation and explicitly approved of his conduct, saying he did not contravene department policy.
In his incident report Wheeler claimed that he could not tell that Dozier was pregnant and that he kicked her out of self defense because she was acting aggressively. Wheeler described the kick as “a front push kick to the abdomen, as he was taught to do at the academy”.
“He had no reason to do that, and for a higher authority to say that he is OK, his boss is wrong too,” Dozier said.
“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,” she added.
When investigating the incident, reporter Jodie Fleischer discovered two more use-of-force complaints against Wheeler, filed within the last nine months.
Wheeler was accused of twisting a 53 year-old woman’s arm and forcing her face into a patrol car in 2011. The other complaint notes that In January, Wheeler shot dead a family’s chained dog after showing up at the wrong home on a call.
Fleischer notes that “in all three cases, the victims were not the focus of the original police incident.”
While he was cleared and exonerated of any wrongdoing by his department in all three cases, Wheeler is now under criminal investigation.
“It’s showing that there is an ongoing pattern and practice of attempting to clear officers of clearly illegal, unconstitutional, and improper conduct,” Bullman said.
“My hope is that with this and other cases, things will change at the DeKalb Police Department, that it is no longer possible for officers to commit felonies against citizens that have committed no crime whatsoever,” the attorney added.
In a separate incident, three officers from the same police department were indicted this week for mercilessly beating a group of handcuffed teenagers. The officers were also accused of serving a similar beatdown to another 18-year-old as recent as last November.
Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.net, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham in England.