An Oregan State Police Captain appeared in court to defend himself after being caught on camera attacking a motorcyclist after a chase.
Police Captain Robert Edwards defended himself against allegations of excessive violence stating that he believed that his forceful actions were “in line with state policies and training”.
Captain Edwards was in pursuit of motorcyclist Justin Wilkins after he saw the rider overtake two other vehicles in no-passing zones and riding at speeds up to 100mph.
The rider, Mr. Wilkins, claims that because Captain Edwards was driving an unmarked police vehicle, he did not immediately realise he was being pursued by police. Wilkins said when he did realise he was being pulled over (at around 3:30 in the video), he indicated right to signal his intention and slowed down to a safe stop.
The video then shows Officer Edwards hitting the back of Wilkins’ motorcycle and knocking him to the ground. A stunned Wilkins gets up, putting his hands, palm up and to his sides as Officer Edwards comes around the front of the car with his gun drawn and kicks Wilkins in the shoulder.
The kick resulted in Wilkens suffering a broken left clavicle. Officer Edwards explained to the court that even though Wilkens had started to comply with commands, it was impossible to stop the kick as he “already had the muscles fired” in his leg. Sounds like solid biological science to us. Edwards went on to say he believed the aggression and resulting ‘rough cuffing’ was necessary because “Based on the aggressive driving and speeds, I believe he was attempting to elude me”.
The jury are currently still in deliberations for the case in which Wilkens is suing Edwards for unspecified non-economic damages and more than $37,000 in reimbursement for medical and motorcycle costs.
Wilkens will prevail only if the jury unanimously agrees excessive force was against him by intentionally colliding with his motorcycle; kicking him; pointing a gun at him; and handling him roughly while handcuffing and pulling him to his feet.