Okaloosa NAACP: “We Remain Hopeful That Justice Will Be Served,” In Wilks Manslaughter Case.

Christopher Saul

Christopher Saul

Mid Bay News

On Tuesday June 7, 2022, three Crestview Police Department Officers were arrested in relation to the 2021 death of a 40-year-old man, Calvin Wilks. A grand jury returned a True Bill – indicting the trio for manslaughter. 

 

In response – Lewis Jennings,  the Okaloosa Branch of the NAACP announced in a Tuesday night statement that the organization was ”aware that three Crestview police officers have been arrested and charged with manslaughter in the Oct 2021 death of Calvin Wilks.” The brief statement added that “We are pleased that the critical first step in holding the officers accountable has been accomplished. We remain hopeful that justice will be served.”

 

According to a release by the Crestview Police department, the city suspended all three officers – Brandon Hardaway, William Johns and Evan Reynolds – pending the judicial process.

 

Wilks died on October 14th, 2021 after what police described in their statement as “a law enforcement interaction.”

NAACP Seal

On Tuesday June 7, 2022, three Crestview Police Department Officers were arrested in relation to the 2021 death of a 40-year-old man, Calvin Wilks. A grand jury returned a True Bill – indicting the trio for manslaughter. 

 

In response – Lewis Jennings,  the Okaloosa Branch of the NAACP announced in a Tuesday night statement that the organization was ”aware that three Crestview police officers have been arrested and charged with manslaughter in the Oct 2021 death of Calvin Wilks.” The brief statement added that “We are pleased that the critical first step in holding the officers accountable has been accomplished. We remain hopeful that justice will be served.”

 

According to a release by the Crestview Police department, the city suspended all three officers – Brandon Hardaway, William Johns and Evan Reynolds – pending the judicial process.

 

Wilks died on October 14th, 2021 after what police described in their statement as “a law enforcement interaction.”

Location of Wilks Altercation
According to the City of Crestview's statement, Police encountered Wilks at a residence just to the south of North Okaloosa Medical Center.

Crestview Police’s Sequence of Events.

According to a release from four days after Mr. Wilks’s death, Crestview Police said they received a 911 call about an issue at a home on Hospital Drive. The caller, according to police, said they heard a person screaming “Stop, please stop.”

According to the release, officers arrived at Hospital Drive – just south of the North Okaloosa Medical Center complex, where they encountered Calvin Wilks, Jr at the home. The press release provided by the city says Wilks was “initially cooperative with officers.” But something changed rapidly, and Wilks closed the door on officers. Officers, the narrative says, waited approximately five minutes until Wilks came back to the door in what was called “a highly agitated state.”

Next, officers said that they explained to Wilks they wanted to make sure everyone was ok in the home. According to the release, Wilks told the officers the woman who lived in the home was in the parking lot near the residence. Officers then say they searched the parking lot, but did not find anyone. 

As the situation continued – the release says the officers sensed Mr. Wilks become more and more agitated. It claims he became more erratic and aggressive – attempted to close the door and slammed it on an officer’s foot several times in the process. 

At this point – according to the document released by the City of Crestview – Mr. Wilks “became combative and physically resisted by pulling away and kicking the detaining officers. During the incident, Mr. Wilks was tased in the hip, and eventually, officers were able to restrain him.”

At this point, the officers believed Wilks had used illegal drugs; according to the release. Officers contacted both Okaloosa EMS and the Crestview Fire Department.

After the fire department and Okaloosa EMS’s arrival – the release states Wilks became unresponsive. He was transported to North Okaloosa Medical Center. 

Crestview Police contacted the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to ask for their help in determining what exactly happened. CPD then referred the investigation to the FDLE. 

The next day, October 15th, Calvin Wilks died at North Okaloosa Medical Center. 

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