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Old 05-24-2021, 01:07 PM
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Default Police Officer Wins Settlement From City That Fired Him for Not Shooting a Black Man

Police Officer Wins Settlement From City That Fired Him for Not Shooting a Black Man
In the early hours of May 6, 2016, the lives of rookie police officer Stephen Mader and R.J. Williams intersected in Weirton, West Virginia. Both men were young fathers. Mader was a white cop holding a gun. Williams was a Black man holding a gun. This tragedy ends exactly as you’d expect — with R.J. Williams killed by a police bullet — but with a twist: Mader did not kill him. In fact, he tried his best to save Williams’ life. And for doing his duty, Mader was fired.
Today (February 12, 2018) we can announce a resolution of the case in favor of a police officer who chose not to shoot a Black man.
To settle all outstanding claims, the City of Weirton will pay Mader $175,000. And while justice prevailed for Mader, R.J. Williams is still dead — a constant reminder police nationwide need the proper de-escalation training needed to avoid unnecessary killings, especially of Black men and boys.
In the case of the death at the hands of police of R.J. Williams, it all started with a domestic disturbance call by Williams’ girlfriend. Arriving first on the scene, Mader came upon Williams, who had his hands behind his back. The officer quickly asked Williams to show him his hands. Williams complied, revealing a gun. Immediately, Mader ordered Williams to drop his weapon. But Williams refused, repeatedly for Mader to “just shoot me.”

In that moment, Mader did not see a man with a gun. He saw a human being in crisis. Mader deduced that Williams was not what he might appear — a danger to others and to a responding officer alike. Mader saw that Williams was trying to commit “suicide by cop.”
Rather than shoot, Mader returned to his military training and attempted to de-escalate the situation. He softened his voice, looked Williams in the eye, and said, “I’m not going to shoot you, brother. I’m not going to shoot you.” With those words, Officer Mader connected to the humanity of Williams, a man in deep distress.
While Mader continued his attempt to convince Williams to drop his weapon, two other officers arrived on the scene. In a matter of seconds, one of the newly arrived officers fired four shots, killing Williams. It was at that point the officers discovered that Williams’ gun was unloaded. Stephen Mader was correct. R.J. Williams was not a threat, but it didn’t matter. He was dead.
Weeks later, the Weirton Police Department fired Stephen Mader.

We have grown accustomed to hearing about outrageous acts of violence perpetrated by the police against communities of color. Some become more outraged. Some have become numb. Some call for accountability or for the needed reforms to stop unnecessary police violence and deadly use of force. No matter the public’s reaction, in nearly every instance, the offending cops are not prosecuted and are back patrolling the streets in a few weeks.
But in Weirton, West Virginia, there is the bizarre opposite. Officer Mader was fired for not shooting a Black man with a gun. The message the police department sent is tragically clear: Law enforcement in Weirton should err on the side of killing people.

Under the Fourth Amendment, police officers may only use deadly force if they have probable cause to believe that the target is a violent imminent threat to the officer or someone else. Officer Mader came to the opposite conclusion — he reasonably, objectively, and correctly determined that R.J. Williams was not a threat to anyone except maybe to himself. And once he made that determination, Mader was not permitted to use deadly force under the U.S. Constitution.
Essentially, the Weirton Police Department fired Stephen Mader for failing to violate R.J. Williams’ Fourth Amendment right to not get shot.
A police officer cannot lawfully be fired for failing to violate someone’s constitutional rights. So this past May, along with the Law Offices of Timothy O’Brien, we filed a lawsuit against the City of Weirton on behalf of Mader. We argued, in part, that the termination of Stephen Mader was in violation of West Virginia public policy....
https://www.aclu.org/blog/criminal-l...city-fired-him

https://features.propublica.org/weir...west-virginia/

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2...gets-you-fired
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Old 05-24-2021, 01:41 PM
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Default Re: Police Officer Wins Settlement From City That Fired Him for Not Shooting a Black

Sad in so many ways. I'm glad the officer won his lawsuit. That doesn't bring the victim back. There has to be a better way to let back up know there is no danger. But if he was trying to talk a white guy down would they have responded the same way?
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Old 05-24-2021, 03:05 PM
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Default Re: Police Officer Wins Settlement From City That Fired Him for Not Shooting a Black

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Sad in so many ways. I'm glad the officer won his lawsuit. That doesn't bring the victim back.
agreed.
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There has to be a better way to let back up know there is no danger.
You know, it's 2nd guessing but seems to me all the Back-up should have had to do was checked the demeanor of the other cop and acted accordingly.
But Shooting on-sight seems like a bad response no matter what.

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But if he was trying to talk a white guy down would they have responded the same way?
I can't say one way or the other for sure BUT I suspect the shooters would have a killed a white guy or a guy in wheel chair or a kid.
The "I felt threatened", "warrior cop", "better to be tried by 6 than carried by 12", "us against them" mentality, And piss poor training leaves EVERYONE vulnerable to this kind of thing.
PLUS the fact the GOOD cop was fired shows that that city's WHOLE law enforcement system is JACKED-UP.
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Old 05-24-2021, 11:28 PM
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Default Re: Police Officer Wins Settlement From City That Fired Him for Not Shooting a Black

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agreed.

You know, it's 2nd guessing but seems to me all the Back-up should have had to do was checked the demeanor of the other cop and acted accordingly.
But Shooting on-sight seems like a bad response no matter what.


I can't say one way or the other for sure BUT I suspect the shooters would have a killed a white guy or a guy in wheel chair or a kid.
The "I felt threatened", "warrior cop", "better to be tried by 6 than carried by 12", "us against them" mentality, And piss poor training leaves EVERYONE vulnerable to this kind of thing.
PLUS the fact the GOOD cop was fired shows that that city's WHOLE law enforcement system is JACKED-UP.
they need something for sure. we had an incident a few years ago where an elderly rancher was killed by touchy cops called to get his cow out of the road. they were absolutely in the wrong but didn't get censured for it even though the guy's wife died of a heart attack shortly after that.
they were white people. I am glad though about the black lives matter movement, because while they are one part of an over all vulnerable group, at least they are calling attention to not only brutality but the need for an update to our way of policing.
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Old 05-25-2021, 08:27 AM
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Default Re: Police Officer Wins Settlement From City That Fired Him for Not Shooting a Black

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Originally Posted by mr wonder View Post
agreed.

You know, it's 2nd guessing but seems to me all the Back-up should have had to do was checked the demeanor of the other cop and acted accordingly.
But Shooting on-sight seems like a bad response no matter what.


I can't say one way or the other for sure BUT I suspect the shooters would have a killed a white guy or a guy in wheel chair or a kid.
The "I felt threatened", "warrior cop", "better to be tried by 6 than carried by 12", "us against them" mentality, And piss poor training leaves EVERYONE vulnerable to this kind of thing.
PLUS the fact the GOOD cop was fired shows that that city's WHOLE law enforcement system is JACKED-UP.
Oh ok, so the "good" cop had a magic ray that told him the suspects gun wasn't loaded? No, there is no magic ray, a violent suspect with a gun puts the police officers and innocent civilians at risk. Specifically what training would enable police officers to determine in real time if the weapon is loaded?

The officers arriving later on scene could have just been additional casualties if the first officer had guessed wrong. The suspect had an opportunity to put down his gun but chose not to even after other officers arrived. We are supposed to trust that a suicidal suspect who inspired enough fear in his wife she summoned the police to protect her really was no threat to start shooting the police and anyone else around? Nope.

The first officer's failure to protect himself and the public justified his firing. With the comfort of hindsight the OP lauds the officer's dereliction of duty. Worse, it suggests policing should depend on the race of the suspect.
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Old 05-25-2021, 11:22 AM
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Default Re: Police Officer Wins Settlement From City That Fired Him for Not Shooting a Black

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Worse, it suggests policing should depend on the race of the suspect.
I wonder if this same piece would have been written had the guy that was shot were white? I suspect we would have never heard about it.
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Old 05-25-2021, 09:20 PM
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Default Re: Police Officer Wins Settlement From City That Fired Him for Not Shooting a Black

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Oh ok, so the "good" cop had a magic ray that told him the suspects gun wasn't loaded? No, there is no magic ray, a violent suspect with a gun puts the police officers and innocent civilians at risk. Specifically what training would enable police officers to determine in real time if the weapon is loaded?

The officers arriving later on scene could have just been additional casualties if the first officer had guessed wrong. The suspect had an opportunity to put down his gun but chose not to even after other officers arrived. We are supposed to trust that a suicidal suspect who inspired enough fear in his wife she summoned the police to protect her really was no threat to start shooting the police and anyone else around? Nope.

The first officer's failure to protect himself and the public justified his firing. With the comfort of hindsight the OP lauds the officer's dereliction of duty. Worse, it suggests policing should depend on the race of the suspect.
1st of all they didn't give him time to put the gun down. they came in and shoot the man seconds after they arrived.
the GOOD cop was giving him time.

2ndly one of the 1st things the article mentions is that the GOOD cop realized that the man needed help. AND HE WAS RIGHT.
He had not died or been shot and did not even feel very threatened, and HIS military training (not police training) told him to deescalate the problem.
Rather than operate from FEAR, as you seem to think is mandatory he realized he had NO "duty" to SHOOT 1st ask questions later.
You mentioned the wife was in fear. Ok I'm sure, But are trained cops supposed to operate with the same level of fear a frightened woman? And as fearful as she may have been, would she have shot him on sight?
No, she and the GOOD cop hoped to deescalate the problem peacefully.

thankfully the judge (or Jury) saw that good police work is about protecting ALL citizens involved rather than thinking anyone with gun must be shot on sight. And think that people rights are important.
You'd think that right wing 2nd amendment supporters would understand that idea. owning and/or holding a gun should not be an automated death sentence in America.
You do know that well trained FBI people successfully talk down people with fire arms on a fairly regular basis. They have training for it. GOOD police training includes it as well. Many SHOOTERS (not just people holding guns) have been talked down by police. Sometimes it takes minutes, sometimes HOURS or more. It's the BEST way to resolve a situation. NO gun fire.

And really AZ, I'm not sure why anyone would think killing a suicidal person is good and "justified" police work.

But some folks really do seem to think the police never do wrong even when people are dead or abused needlessly. Somehow a badge grants a halo over nearly any action, EVEN AFTER COURTS say otherwise.
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Old 05-25-2021, 09:35 PM
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Default Re: Police Officer Wins Settlement From City That Fired Him for Not Shooting a Black

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I wonder if this same piece would have been written had the guy that was shot were white? I suspect we would have never heard about it.
I posted a whole documentary video some time ago about a white Sherif whose son-in-law was needlessly killed by his own SWAT team.
Similar situation, the son-in-law had a gun and was mentally stressed.

I don't remember if anyone here posted a reply on that thread. So it's not that folks never heard of cases where whites are abused or killed it's just ignored by everyone including whites it seems. I've post SEVERAL other cases where white people have been needlessly Killed or abused by cops.
They are often met with NO response or mind numbing defense of the cops or anger that I'm smearing "all cops".
Sometimes people say the "bad apples" need to fired.

But old white man gets his head cracked open and HE's to blame for being in the presence of police. where it's dangerous. and they were "doing their job" pushing old men into the pavement.

But anytime race is involved it seems like that's trotted out as a 2ndry excuse to disregard the case all together because of some perceived impure motive in bringing it up.
but hey, I'm told ALL lives matter right? I mean there is no real racism problem in America right, whites, blacks, others, young, old, male, female, wheelchair bound, armed, unarmed, mental ill, sane are getting JACKED, so what is the problem?
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Last edited by mr wonder; 05-25-2021 at 09:47 PM..
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Old 05-26-2021, 06:04 AM
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Default Re: Police Officer Wins Settlement From City That Fired Him for Not Shooting a Black

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Originally Posted by mr wonder View Post
I posted a whole documentary video some time ago about a white Sherif whose son-in-law was needlessly killed by his own SWAT team.
Similar situation, the son-in-law had a gun and was mentally stressed.

I don't remember if anyone here posted a reply on that thread. So it's not that folks never heard of cases where whites are abused or killed it's just ignored by everyone including whites it seems. I've post SEVERAL other cases where white people have been needlessly Killed or abused by cops.
They are often met with NO response or mind numbing defense of the cops or anger that I'm smearing "all cops".
Sometimes people say the "bad apples" need to fired.

But old white man gets his head cracked open and HE's to blame for being in the presence of police. where it's dangerous. and they were "doing their job" pushing old men into the pavement.

But anytime race is involved it seems like that's trotted out as a 2ndry excuse to disregard the case all together because of some perceived impure motive in bringing it up.
but hey, I'm told ALL lives matter right? I mean there is no real racism problem in America right, whites, blacks, others, young, old, male, female, wheelchair bound, armed, unarmed, mental ill, sane are getting JACKED, so what is the problem?
My question went to why was race mentioned in the article at all? Was it important to the story? Or was it to further an agenda. It did not matter the race of either the man that was killed or the officers.

The point of the story was that a man was shot while holding a gun after the police had told him to drop it and he didn't. I was not questioning the motives of the man that was shot nor the officers. I was wondering why race was injected into a story that apparently had nothing to do with race.

This is part of the racial problem in the country today. The media injects race into every story IF it fits their narrative. If this had been a white man that was shot, my guess is that race would not have been mentioned. My problem with this story is simply about the narrative this the author is trying to push.
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Old 05-26-2021, 07:46 AM
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Default Re: Police Officer Wins Settlement From City That Fired Him for Not Shooting a Black

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Originally Posted by mr wonder View Post
1st of all they didn't give him time to put the gun down. they came in and shoot the man seconds after they arrived.
the GOOD cop was giving him time.

2ndly one of the 1st things the article mentions is that the GOOD cop realized that the man needed help. AND HE WAS RIGHT.
He had not died or been shot and did not even feel very threatened, and HIS military training (not police training) told him to deescalate the problem.
Rather than operate from FEAR, as you seem to think is mandatory he realized he had NO "duty" to SHOOT 1st ask questions later.
You mentioned the wife was in fear. Ok I'm sure, But are trained cops supposed to operate with the same level of fear a frightened woman? And as fearful as she may have been, would she have shot him on sight?
No, she and the GOOD cop hoped to deescalate the problem peacefully.

thankfully the judge (or Jury) saw that good police work is about protecting ALL citizens involved rather than thinking anyone with gun must be shot on sight. And think that people rights are important.
You'd think that right wing 2nd amendment supporters would understand that idea. owning and/or holding a gun should not be an automated death sentence in America.
You do know that well trained FBI people successfully talk down people with fire arms on a fairly regular basis. They have training for it. GOOD police training includes it as well. Many SHOOTERS (not just people holding guns) have been talked down by police. Sometimes it takes minutes, sometimes HOURS or more. It's the BEST way to resolve a situation. NO gun fire.

And really AZ, I'm not sure why anyone would think killing a suicidal person is good and "justified" police work.

But some folks really do seem to think the police never do wrong even when people are dead or abused needlessly. Somehow a badge grants a halo over nearly any action, EVEN AFTER COURTS say otherwise.
The ACLU article quoted in the OP claims the officers, Kuzma and Baker, arriving on the scene shot the suspect, Williams, in seconds after their arrival. But the linked article from Propublica tells a different story based on the 911 calls and interviews instead of a political agenda.

Quote:
With the arrival of Kuzma and Baker, Williams began walking toward the driveway to the left of the house, again pleading to be shot. He raised his gun slightly, pointing it in the direction of Mader. Mader said the gun was aimed at the level of his torso but wide to his left.

Baker screamed at Mader to take cover, and all three officers continued to yell at Williams to drop the gun. Williams then raised the gun to shoulder height, walked toward the arriving officers, and swung the gun back and forth, from Mader to Kuzma and Baker and back to Mader again.
So the suspect was actively threatening the officers with a gun while walking towards them. But that didn't fit with the radical Leftist BLM narrative of racist murdering cops so they just lied.

The first officer on the scene, Mader, was a rookie fresh from the academy. He is a Marine veteran who was impressed by the deescalation training he received at the POLICE ACADEMY. In the Marines it's all "kill or be killed".

It was the police training that taught the rookie officer to restrain himself from firing on the armed suspect. It was the suspect who escalated the threat by pointing the gun at the officers sweeping it back an forth targeting them as he walked towards them. The police had to assume the weapon was loaded. Were they supposed to wait for him to open fire?
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