An Oregon motorcyclist has been awarded $180,000 after dashcam footage from a police officer’s car captures his motorcycle being rammed and the police officer kicking him in the chest. The incident, which went down back in 2012, finally made its way through the court system after Justin Wilkens sued for civil rights violations and medical expenses.
The footage from Officer Robert Wayne Edwards’ unmarked Camaro (sweet ride, bro) shows Wilkens passing him at the end of a series of broken line markings and then speeding past two other vehicles in a no passing zone. The police officer tailed the motorcyclist in what he described as a pursuit that took them up to 100 miles per hour at times.
Wilkens denied the claim that he was trying to elude the police officer and said he had no idea Edwards’ Camaro was a police vehicle that was trying to pull him over. Once he realized, he stopped his motorcycle and that’s when Edwards rammed him with his car.
From there, the cop got out of his car and karate kicked Wilkens in the chest, brandishing his handgun at the motorcyclist sideways like a gangster. During the civil suit, Edwards “acknowledged in his testimony that Wilkens had begun to comply with his commands when he landed the kick, but said he was unable to stop the kick because he ‘already had the muscles fired’ in his right leg.”
Wilkins suffered a broken clavicle and broken rib in the attack. At the end of the trial, a jury found Edwards “negligent” for striking the sportbike and declared the police officer’s kick to be an excessive and unconstitutional use of force. Justin Wilkins was awarded $31,000 in medical expenses, $100,000 for pain and suffering, and $50,000 in punitive damages.
But what about Edwards’ job as an Oregon State police officer? Surely after an incident like this, the only beat he’ll get is one involving a food court, right? Wrong. Edwards was only reprimanded for not reporting his use of force against Wilkens, and has since been promoted from Lieutenant to Captain. After the verdict, his department released a statement saying they were “disappointed with the outcome and feel the actions of our trooper clearly did not violate established procedures or tactics.”