‘Douche du Jour’: DeKalb, Georgia Officer Jerad Wheeler Allegedly Kicks Raven Dozier, 9 Months Pregnant, in Stomach
WSBTV reports that Raven Dozier was at her grandmother’s house when DeKalb County officer Jerad Wheeler arrived in response to a child custody call involving Dozier’s brother. As he argued with the officer, Raven tried to calm him down. He was shot with a Taser stun-gun, and she cried out. That’s when Wheeler delivered what he called “a front push-kick to the abdomen,” sending her flying to the floor.
The kick bruised Raven and caused her baby to defecate in the womb, leading to an emergency caesarean section delivery two weeks later.
Mark Bullman, Raven’s attorney, says the type of kick used by Officer Wheeler “is supposed to be used for forcing entry into a door or something like that.”
“What kind of a human being kicks a pregnant woman?” he asked.
Wheeler claims that it was dark, that Raven was coming aggressively toward him and that she was wearing a large shirt, making it impossible for him to tell that she was nearly nine months pregnant. But DeKalb County Jail officials, who saw Raven after Wheeler arrested her for obstruction of an officer, immediately realized her condition and refused to take her in.
Raven later filed a complaint with the DeKalb Police Department’s internal affairs unit, but there was never any investigation. Four supervising officers as well as an internal affairs official signed off on Wheeler’s use of force, claiming that it fell within the bounds of acceptable behavior.
“He had no reason to do that,” Raven told WSBTV, “and for a higher authority to say that he is OK, his boss is wrong too.”
“I believe that something should be done,” she told the station. “Men go to jail every day for hitting women and it’s not OK just because he’s a police officer.”
It turns out that Wheeler has a history of violent incidents. WSBTV’s Jodie Fleischer filed an open records request that revealed two other instances in which use-of-force complaints were filed against the officer within the past nine months. In both cases, the victim was not the focus of the original police response.
One September 2011 incident involved a 53-year-old woman who had her arm twisted behind her back and her face pushed down onto a police car by Wheeler. Her daughter had been involved in a traffic accident and the woman had arrived on the scene to help her grandchildren.
Then, in January 2012, a family filed a complaint after Wheeler shot their dog while he was chained up in their garage. It turns out Wheeler had responded to the wrong address.
Wheeler was exonerated in both cases.
“Its showing that there is an ongoing pattern and practice of attempting to clear officers of clearly illegal, unconstitutional, and improper conduct,” Bullman told WSBTV.
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