CRESTVIEW, Fla. (WKRG) — Three Crestview Police Department officers were indicted for manslaughter on Monday for the Oct. 2021 death of a man who died the day after officers tased him during a wellness check. The Office of the Medical Examiner determined that Calvin Wilks’ death was a homicide, and the Grand Jury found probable cause to indict the three officers, according to a news release from the State Attorney’s office.
Brandon Hardaway, William Johns and Evan Reynolds were all indicted. Four officers were taken off patrol duty and were put on “administrative duty” in March 2022 while this case was being investigated.
The case will now be sent to the Florida State Attorney to prosecute. The jury must find that the three men charged are, beyond a reasonable doubt, guilty before they can be convicted for the crime.
What happened with Calvin Wilks?
Police received a call asking for a welfare check at the residence Wilks was at when callers said they heard someone yelling, “stop, please stop.” Officers said when they first arrived Wilks was cooperative and agreed to step outside of the home. Officers said they waited for about five minutes before Wilks returned to the door in what they called a “highly agitated state.”
A statement from Crestview Police said Wilks said he did not live at the home, but the woman who did live there was in the parking lot. Police could not find the woman. Police said Wilks continued to act aggressively and tried to close the door on an officer’s foot, slamming the door several times.
Police said they tried to detain Wilks. That’s when they said Wilks became combative. Police said Wilks tried to kick and pull away from officers. Police said they then tased Wilks and restrained him.
Okaloosa Emergency Medical Services and the Crestview Fire Department were called to the scene. Police said Wilks was unresponsive and was taken to the North Okaloosa Medical Center, where he died the next day.
Crestview Police asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate the death. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People met with the representatives from the Crestview Police Department to talk about the case.
Crestview Police issue response to indictment
The Crestview Police Department has received notification of the results of a Grand Jury review of the
October 14, 2021, death of 40-year-old Calvin Wilks after a law enforcement interaction. During deliberation, the Grand Jury handed down a “True Bill” indicating that there was Probable Cause to indict Officers Brandon Hardaway, William Johns, and Evan Reynolds. The Crestview Police Department has placed the Officers on suspension pending the outcome of the judicial process.
During the course of the Investigation, the Crestview Police Department remained transparent and
cooperated with the investigation that was independently conducted by the Florida Department of Law
Enforcement, the Medical Examiner’s office and the Office of the State Attorney.
“As a law enforcement agency, we must trust the justice system we are charged to enforce.” Police ChiefCrestview Police Department
Stephen McCosker said. “We will continue to cooperate with all parties involved as we await the outcome
of the upcoming trial.