Crestview, FL – A Florida grand jury indicted three Crestview police officers on Monday for tasing an aggressive man during an incident last fall.
Crestview police officers responded to the home of 40-year-old Calvin Wilks Jr. on Oct. 14, 2021 after somebody called 911 and reported that someone in the residence was screaming for help, WEAR reported.
Officials said Wilks was “acting erratic and aggressive” when police arrived and said officers thought the suspect was “potentially under the influence of drugs.”
Police said Wilks became combative and assertively resisted the officers’ attempts to detain him, according to WEAR.
The officers ultimately deployed Tasers in order to take the suspect into custody.
Wilks became unresponsive immediately after officers deployed their Tasers, WEAR reported.
He was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment but died the next day.
The medical examiner ruled Wilks’ death a homicide, WEAR reported.
Prosecutors took the investigation of the incident before a grand jury on June 6.
The grand jury returned indictments for manslaughter against Crestview Police Officers William Johns, Evan Reynolds, and Brandon Hardaway, WEAR reported.
“The members of the Grand Jury performed their duties as a citizen’s review of Mr. Calvin Wilks, Jr.’s death,” Florida State’s Attorney Ginger Bowden Madden said in a statement, according to WALA.
“My office will prosecute the cases accordingly,” the statement continued. “Let us understand that our law enforcement officers face a difficult job every day; however, the sanctity of a life must never be unjustifiably compromised.”
The state’s attorney’s office said the accused officers turned themselves in and were booked into the Okaloosa County jail the same day they were indicted.
Jail records showed the officers were booked through the county’s south end facility, WEAR reported.
They were released from jail later the same day on a $10,000 bond each.
If convicted, the maximum sentence for second-degree manslaughter is 15 years in prison.
Officers Johns, Reynolds, and Hardaway were placed on administrative leave by the police department after the charges against then were announced, WEAR reported.
All three officers are scheduled to appear in court next on July 7.
Crestview police said that Officer Reynolds joined the police force in 2010, Officer Hardaway in 2015, and Officer Johns in 2019, according to WEAR.
Wilks mother expressed gratitude that the officers had been charged, CBS News reported.
“They killed my baby and I want them punished. Not a slap on the back and they walk away,” Bernice McTear said. “We never believed that he died the way they were trying to say he died.”
The family has called for the officers to be terminated from the police department, CBS News reported.