CRESTVIEW, Fla. (WKRG) — A grand jury has indicted three Crestview police officers on manslaughter charges and the mother of the man who died while in police custody believes this is the first step to justice.
“They killed my baby and now I can’t see him anymore,” said the victim’s mother Bernice McTear. “I can’t sleep at night.”
40-year-old Calvin Wilks Jr. died the day after Crestview police officers tased him in October of 2021.
“They twist him up like some animal and just tortured him to death…and I want them punished,” said McTear.
A grand jury indicted Officers Brandon Hardaway, William Johns and Evan Reynolds for manslaughter. They’ve been suspended pending the outcome of the judicial process.
“We hope that they are ultimately convicted however in the interim, we believe they should be terminated,” said Attorney Frank Allen.
Police responded Oct. 14 to a home on Hospital Drive after a woman was reported screaming at someone to stop. They arrived and found Wilks. They claimed he was cooperative at first but became aggressive closing the officer’s foot in the door. Police said he put up a fight while being detained and that’s when they tased him.
His family’s attorneys said this indictment is the first step to justice.
“All of us demand that justice and we will fight hard to see that day,” said Attorney Rawsi Williams. “But tonight, for what has been done, we are thankful.”
Crestview Police Chief Stephen McCosker said in a statement: “As a law enforcement agency, we must trust the justice system we are charged to enforce. We will continue to cooperate with all parties involved as we await the outcome of the upcoming trial.”
There is body camera video but it’s not been released yet. If convicted, the officers face a maximum of 15 years in prison.