Officer fired after refusing to shoot armed suspect settles lawsuit

Stephen Mader. Credit Target 11/NBC

Stephen Mader. Credit Target 11/NBC

A former West Virginia police officer fired after he did not shoot a distraught man armed with an unloaded gun will get $175,000 to settle a wrongful termination lawsuit with the city's police department.

Nearly half the settlement amount, some $85,000, will go towards paying Mader's attorneys, including the West Virginia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU-WV). Whenever he told me to shoot him it was as if he was pleading with me.

"The events leading to my termination were unjustified and I'm pleased a joint resolution has been met". Mader said that in the Williams case he would not have done anything differently and acted lawfully.

Mader believes the other two officers were justified in shooting Williams, adding: 'They did not have the information I did'.

"No police officer should ever lose their job - or have their name dragged through the mud - for choosing to talk to, rather than shoot, a fellow citizen", he said.

After Williams revealed he'd been holding a gun behind his back, Mader said he made several attempts to convince the young man to drop the gun. Williams was holding a gun but Mader refused to shoot him.

Mader disagreed and filed a suit alleging wrongful termination.

Weeks later, Stephen was sacked from the police force and just recently, two years later, new reports say Stephen has finally won his case for wrongful dismissal. Mader was then fired for supposedly endangering the lives of fellow officers by not shooting the suspect.

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Incredibly, almost two weeks later, Mader was sacked because of a "failure to meet probationary standards of an officer" and "apparent difficulties in critical incident reasoning". Williams reportedly began pointing the gun at all of the officers, which led to one of the officers firing his service pistol, with the fourth shot striking Williams. "Simply put no police officer should ever feel forced to take a life unnecessarily to save his career". During a stand-off, Williams told Mader to shoot him.

"He softened his voice, looked Williams in the eye and said: 'I'm not going to shoot you, brother".

Williams seemed intent on committing "suicide by cop", the former officer said.

But the case was handled questionably by the local police department, according to the.

A call to the attorney representing Williams' family was not immediately returned. We need to give law enforcement officers tools to effectively serve their communities.

Mader grew up in Weirton and was ecstatic to land a job in the police department after four years in the Marines, which included a tour of Afghanistan.

But in Weirton, West Virginia, there is the freaky opposite.

Weirton City Manager Travis Blosser told CNN in September 2016 Mader was not just fired for his interactions with Williams, but "for a totality of reasons".

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