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Oregon Rider Wins $180,170 Court Case

Published January 27, 2016

Remember this footage from back in 2012? We certainly do. It’s taken a while, but now Oregon rider Justin Wilkens has successfully claimed his damages against a particularly over-zealous police officer. Mr. Wilkens suffered two fractured ribs and a broken collarbone as he was kicked to the ground and held at gunpoint before being cuffed. So, think yourself lucky next time your local cop gives you a good old fashioned ticket for a minor transgression…rather than a boot to the chest.

Now, this video sparked debate back in 2012, and we reckon it’ll probably do the same again, now that the case has been settled – but if you’re not up to speed, give the video a watch and make up your own minds. Firstly, you’ll see Mr. Wilkens overtaking on the double lines, speeding and appearing not to pull over to a pursuing cop car. Well, the truth of it is that the car was unmarked, and although it put its flashing lights on, it didn’t use its siren. Eventually, the Mr. Wilkens does slow down an pull over, only for pursuing cop Robert Edwards (who’s subsequently been promoted to a Captain – go figure) to knock him off his bike with the car, kick him in the chest and adopt a full on gangster stance, pointing his gun at the offender.

Luckily, the dash cam caught it all on tape. Interestingly, Officer Edwards didn’t know that his camera was running, but if he did know, would his methods still have remained the same? Anyway, Mr. Wilkens took his case to court and pleaded that he didn’t realize he was being pursued. Now, he has finally been awarded $180,170 in damages: $31,171 for medical bills and damage to his bike, $100,000 for pain and suffering, and a further $50,000 for punitive damages.

Captain Edwards and his defense team tried to wriggle out of the case by suggesting that the shunt from the car was due to Mr. Wilkens stopping suddenly, and due to the police car suffering from brake fade. Naturally, this was dismissed.

Both the rider and the officer are in the wrong though, no matter how you look at it – but what side of the fence do you sit on? Let us know in comments. If you’re not sure, check out the YouTube comments for inspiration, or a giggle at the very least because no one is ever wrong on YouTube, right?

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Joe Appleton
About

I’ve done a bit of work here and there in the industry – I’ve even ridden a few bikes for actual money but what it comes down to is this: I ride bikes, build bikes and occasionally crash ‘em too. I like what I like but that certainly doesn’t make my opinion any more valid than yours…

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