State police, in a statement released Thursday night, said the agency “is disappointed with the (trial) outcome and feels the actions of our troopers clearly did not violate established procedures or tactics. In situations like these, officers have milliseconds to make what may be life-or-death decisions and those officers should be shielded from the liability of civil damages.”
The key piece of evidence in Wilkens’ case was a recording of the incident captured by an in-car video system in Edwards’ unmarked police vehicle. According to trial testimony, Edwards did not know the unmarked Chevrolet Camaro he was driving at the time was equipped with the video system.
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.
Edwards also said he accidentally “bumped” the back end of Wilkens’ motorcycle as a result of possible “brake fade” — a term used to describe the loss of braking power because of overheating.