An Oregon motorcyclist has been awarded damages of $180,000 after suing the Oregon State Police for use of excessive force during a traffic stop in 2012.
Justin Wilkens sped past an unmarked police vehicle, a Chevrolet Camaro, on Aug. 3, 2012.
Oregon State Police Capt. Rob Edwards attempted to stop Wilkens, who did not pull over for several minutes. Wilkens said he could not see the limited lights inside of the unmarked police car and was unable to hear any sirens over the sound of his motorcycle.
As they approach an intersection, Wilkens turns around and appears to shake his head as he realizes there is an officer behind him. Wilkens then turned on his blinker and came to a stop.
Edwards then hit the back of Wilkens’ bike with the Camaro, knocking the bike and Wilkens to the ground. Edwards then exited the vehicle, kicked Wilkens, and forced him to the ground at gunpoint.
Wilkens suffered a broken collarbone in the incident. His medical bills, motorcycle repairs and towing bill came out to around $38,000.
Edwards defended his actions in court saying, “Based on the aggressive driving and speeds, I believe he was attempting to elude me.” He also said his actions were in line with state police policies and training.
The jury of eight unanimously decided that Edwards violated Wilkens civil rights and awarded Wilkens $180,000.