*There is no doubt Stephen Mader read the situation right. The now former Weirton police officer had been called out on a domestic violence dispute by the girlfriend of Ronald Williams who told him that the man was threatening to kill himself. Once Mader arrived he saw that Williams had a gun. But the officer was not quick to assume he was in danger.
“I saw then he had a gun, but it was not pointed at me,” Mader recalled, as he noticed the silver handgun was in the man’s right hand, hanging at his side and pointed at the ground.
Unlike many police officers, Mader instantly remembered his training in the Marines along with his situational police academy training; and instead of the traditional shoot now ask questions later he did something very brave: he made a decision to ‘look at the whole person’ in an attempt to decipher if it was truly a terrorist situation.
With this in mind, he did not shoot.
That decision has now cost him his job.
Mader started talking to the man in a very calm voice, as he stood behind Williams’ parked car.
“I told him, ‘Put down the gun,’ and he’s like, ‘Just shoot me,’ Mader said. “And I told him, ‘I’m not going to shoot you brother. Then he starts flicking his wrist to get me to react to it.”
“I thought I was going to be able to talk to him and deescalate it. I knew it was a suicide-by-cop” situation.
Such bravery should be rewarded right?
Perhaps. After all, Mader’s actions are what we want cops to do more of. But Williams ended up dead anyway. Since Mader didn’t kill him, two other officers came to the scene and finished the job — shooting him dead instantly.
Mader got in trouble when he arrived back at the station, even after it was discovered that Williams’ gun was not loaded. Instead of being acknowledged for accessing the situation correctly; Mader was told he would be placed on administrative leave while an investigation was done.
According to the Washington Post:
The Weirton police department then refused to name Williams for three days and assigned an investigator to look into the shooting . . . who then promptly left for a week-long vacation. Then came the punchline.
Mr. Mader — speaking publicly about this case for the first time — said that when he tried to return to work on May 17, following normal protocol for taking time off after an officer-involved shooting, he was told to go see Weirton Police Chief Rob Alexander.
In a meeting with the chief and City Manager Travis Blosser, Mr. Mader said Chief Alexander told him: “We’re putting you on administrative leave and we’re going to do an investigation to see if you are going to be an officer here. You put two other officers in danger.”
Mr. Mader said that “right then I said to him: ‘Look, I didn’t shoot him because he said, ‘Just shoot me.’ ”
On June 7, a Weirton officer delivered him a notice of termination letter dated June 6, which said by not shooting Mr. Williams he “failed to eliminate a threat.”
Ain’t that some sh*t!
We finally hear of a police officer who appears to be using his brain; actually performing the training he says he received — instead of going the trigger-happy route and what does he get in return?
Fired for NOT shooting the man!
It’s no surprise the department happened to find two more incidents on Mader…to justify why he was fired. But its clear it was not shooting Williams that nailed it.
Oh, and generally, on the rare occasion a cop does get fired, at least he gets to keep his pension.
SOMEBODY HIRE THIS OFFICER!!!