- 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)