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A West Virginia police department’s odd reason for firing Stephen Mader recently earned him a settlement of $175,000.
Mader was fired as a Weirton police officer after he refused to shoot R.J. Williams at the scene of a domestic disturbance in May 2016, reports WTRF. Williams, a young black man, begged Mader to shoot him while he was holding a gun in a distraught state. Mader determined that Williams was attempting suicide by cop and concluded that he did not pose a threat. Mader chose instead to deescalate the situation.
Mader - Efforts - Williams - Encounter - Mader
Despite Mader’s best efforts, Williams did not survive the encounter. After two of Mader’s fellow officers appeared on the scene, one of them opened fire and fatally shot Williams.
It was later discovered that Mader’s hunch may have been correct as the gun Williams was carrying was found to be unloaded.
Mader - Probation - Actions
Mader was placed on probation and fired for his actions.
The American Civil Liberties Union, which took on Mader’s case, argued that his actions were constitutional:
Fourth - Amendment - Police - Officers - Force
Under the Fourth Amendment, police officers may only use deadly force if they have probable cause to believe that the target is...
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