Back in 2012, Justin Wilkens was racing his Aprilia motorcycle and unknowingly passed Oregon State Police officer Rob Edwards, who was driving a black, unmarked Camaro. After flashing his lights, there was a brief 2 minute-long chase, then Edwards used the front-end of his Camaro to hit the bike, knocking Wilkens to the ground. After that, Officer Edwards jumps out of the car all jacked up on adrenaline, doughnuts, and 5-Hour Energy Drink, and proceeds to karate kick Wilkens in the chest and pull his gun on him in one sweeping, vulgar motion. Of course, the entire thing was recorded in vivid high-definition on the trooper’s dashcam.
After Trooper Edwards was finished acting like Val Kilmer in Batman Forever, Wilkens was left with a broken rib and damaged clavicle. It only took an Oregon jury four hours to decide this was all a bit too excessive and awarded Wilkens a settlement of $180,000.
This all happened in the tiny town of Venta, Oregon. The dashcam footage shows the bike was clearly speeding and passes at least two cars across double-yellow (no passing-zone) lines. Officer Edwards says he believed the biker was trying to elude him after flashing his lights but not a siren. Rob Wilkens said he didn’t realize he was in a police chase and “had never seen a black Camaro cop car before.” Footage would later show the Camaro is almost indistinguishable from a civilian car.
I imagine Wilkens was like, “Who the fuck is this chasing me?”, right before he was rammed off his bike. What most disturbs me about this little show of force is the way the cop is holding his 9 millimeter. He’s holding it sideways like he’s a rapper in a 90s music video. I suppose it’s possible Edwards is good enough of a shot to hold his pistol one-handed but he’s holding the damn thing so close to his face that the pistol’s recoil would slap him in the cheekbone while a steaming hot shell ejects toward his eye. In fact, the only thing Edwards does correctly is keep his pointer finger out of the trigger enclosure. Thanks to a jury, Trooper Edwards will be literally paying for his serious lapse in judgement for the rest of his life.
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