West Virginia

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This officer was fired after he didn’t shoot a black man in distress. Now he’s suing.

  • Stephen Mader, a former police officer in Weirton, West Virginia, is suing the city and local police department for firing him after he didn’t shoot a black man trying to commit suicide by cop.
  • In May 2016, Mader encountered Ronald Williams, a distressed African-American man whose girlfriend had called police to their Weirton home after Williams reportedly threatened to harm himself.
  • Williams was holding an unloaded gun and pleaded with Mader to “just shoot me,” according to the former officer’s lawsuit.
  • Mader, a veteran of the War in Afghanistan, said he relied on his training in the military, and attempted to de-escalate the situation and prevent any loss of life. But when two of Mader’s fellow officers joined him on the scene, one of them fatally shot Williams in the head.
  • The use of lethal force rattled the community, in light of the facts that Williams had apparently been experiencing a mental health crisis and that Mader, a white officer, had attempted to save the black man’s life. Mader was fired following the incident.
  • Mader’s lawsuit, filed in a U.S. District Court in West Virginia, alleges that the city violated his rights against unjust termination, his First and Fourteenth Amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution and other rights under the Constitution of the State of West Virginia. Read more (5/10/17)

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A reporter in West Virginia was arrested and charged with a crime Tuesday after he repeatedly attempted to question Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.

Price was walking through a hallway in the state Capitol, which he was visiting with Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway as part of a “listening tour” on the opioid crisis. Several protesters were gathered in the hallway, as was Dan Heyman, a reporter for the Public News Service.

Heyman says he asked the HHS secretary whether domestic violence would qualify as a pre-existing condition under the Republican health care bill.

When Price didn’t answer, Heyman repeated the question. The reporter says he was recording on his phone, which he was holding out toward Price; officials say he was “trying aggressively” to breach Secret Service security.

“I was yelling out questions, and that was it,” Heyman said at a news conference shared online by the West Virginia branch of the American Civil Liberties Union.

West Virginia Reporter Arrested For Yelling Question At HHS Secretary

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Anti-LGBTQ attacks aren’t hate crimes, according to West Virginia Supreme Court

  • On Tuesday, in a 3-2 decision, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals ruled that the state’s hate crime law does not cover anti-LGBTQ assaults, Slate reported.
  • The narrow decision stemmed from the West Virginia v. Butler case.
  •  According to West Virginia Metro News, in 2015, Marshall University football player Steward Butler allegedly attacked Zackary Johnson and Casey Williams for kissing in public. 
  • Butler reportedly saw the men from his car, exited his vehicle, shouted homophobic slurs, then physically assaulted both men. 
  • Following the incident, Butler was charged with battery and later for violating both Williams’ and Johnson’s civil rights. 
  • As Metro Newsreported, the current law in West Virginia prohibits civil rights violations based on race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, political affiliation or sex. Read more (5/10/17)

Seriously, though.

Not to be snooty here, but the way Trump voters act you’d think coal mining was the most important thing that ever existed. Isn’t it quite a hideous, dangerous job too?

And the sad thing is: Trump WAS lying to them.

“I have a tremendous plan for the cool miners!”

Like fuck you have.  Lanley in Marge vs. The Monorail was more convincing. 

9

Margaret

It’s not odd at all to have a connection with a home, a place where bits of your life happened. But what about a home that you have no personal connection to other than noticing it’s sheer beauty peering out from amongst a thick blanket of trees? I cannot even begin to explain the flood of excitement and admiration that washed over me the first time I spotted the house I will from here on out refer to as Margaret. Like with most places I find, I was out on a random weekend drive. While speeding down Route 2 in Mason County, West Virginia toward Point Pleasant, a road I’ve been down countless times, something in the distance caught my eye that I had never noticed. I quickly turned around and headed off the main road, dropped my car into 2nd gear and began to slowly ascend up a narrow one lane back road. As I grew closer and the trees parted, I simply could not believe what laid upon my gaze. How could something so beautiful and majestic just be sitting here all alone? Needless to say I immediately fell in love with this antebellum gem. Dozens of questions about this place flooded my curious mind as I drove up the muddy and narrow driveway. That was in December 2015.

Over the past year or so I’ve been periodically making the 45 minute drive to shoot photos of Margaret. No matter what my mood she always made me feel better. I don’t know why I immediately felt such a strong connection with a home that I’ve never lived in. Perhaps she knew I would be coming along one day and admire her how someone once had. I sure as hell can’t fathom why someone would leave her behind. Sadly while on a recent visit, that same moment of laying eyes on her as the trees parted that made me fall in love, this time made my heart fall to the pit of my stomach. At first glance at a distance I thought maybe someone was demolishing the home. As I drove closer I realized that it was far worse. Margaret had been torched. I looked at my girlfriend and just kept saying “No! No! No!” as we drove closer. How!? Why?! I had just visited a few weeks prior and everything was fine. Judging by what’s left (or rather lack there of) it appears she burned for a while. Who the hell would do something like this? One thing is for certain, I will miss Margaret dearly.

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Unarmed black teenager James Means fatally shot by white man who called him “another piece of trash”

  • On Monday night, 15-year-old James Means was reportedly shot and killed by a man he “bumped into” outside of a Dollar General store in Charleston, West Virginia. 
  • Means, a black teenager, was said to be unarmed. 
  • That same night, police arrested William Pulliam, 62, in connection with the shooting. Pulliam had gone to dinner after the shooting.
  • Pulliam was white and carrying a gun, despite no permit to own a firearm due to a previous conviction for domestic violence
  • Pulliam reportedly “admitted” to fatally shooting Means, telling police, “The way I look at it, that’s another piece of trash off the street.”
  • A GoFundMe has been set up for Means’ funeral
  • Pulliam, whose criminal history includes physical abuse of his wife and daughter, has a history of harassing teens in the area.