Taxpayers Shell Out $175K for Brave Cop Fired by Dept. for Refusing to Kill a Man


Weirton, WV — As TFTP reported last year, former Weirton police officer Stephen Mader sued the city after he was fired for not killing a suicidal man who needed help.

It was reported this week that Mader will be receiving $175,000 in a settlement as a result of his unnecessary firing.

“At the end of the day, I’m happy to put this chapter of my life to bed,” Mader said. “The events leading to my termination were unjustified and I’m pleased a joint resolution has been met.

“My hope is that no other person on either end of a police call has to go through this again,” said Mader, who still lives in Weirton with his family but now drives trucks for a living, according to WPXI.

As we reported at the time, on May 6, 2016, Mader responded to a domestic call about a suicidal person. When he arrived on the scene, Mader confronted 23-year-old Ronald D. Williams who was armed and mentally distraught.

Madar said that he began talking to the young man in his “calm voice.”

“I told him, ‘Put down the gun,’ and he’s like, ‘Just shoot me.’ 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 de-escalate it. I knew it was a suicide-by-cop” situation,” Mader said, adding that, “He wasn’t screaming, yelling, he wasn’t angry. He just seemed distraught. Whenever he told me to shoot him it was as if he was pleading with me. At first, I’m thinking, ‘Do I really need to shoot this guy?’ But after hearing ‘just shoot me’ and his demeanor, it was, ‘I definitely can’t.’”

Mader showed incredible restraint in the situation, even though Williams was attempting to provoke a suicide by cop.

Sadly, as Mader began to reason with Williams and de-escalate the situation, backup arrived, and another officer immediately shot and killed Williams without a second of consideration.

To add insult to injury, Mader was fired for his restraint, and the officer who murdered Williams was cleared of all wrongdoing, showing that the police department is explicitly encouraging indiscriminate killings.

Now, Mader is understandably reconsidering his career choices and has filed a lawsuit against the city that employed him.

“I loved being a police officer. And for them to say because of this incident you’re not going to continue here was heartbreaking. It had me questioning myself, should I be an officer,” Mader told NBC.

West Virginia attorney and ACLU representative Timothy P. O’Brien is helping to bring the lawsuit against the city.

“The City of Weirton’s decision to fire officer Mader because he chose not to shoot and kill a fellow citizen, when he believed that he should not use such force, not only violates the Constitution, common sense and public policy but incredibly punishes restraint.

When given the tragic and far too frequent unnecessary use of deadly force, such restraint should be praised not penalized. To tell a police officer, when in doubt either shoot to kill or get fired, is a choice that no police officer should ever have to make and is a message that is wrong and should never be sent,” O’Brien said.

“There’s the thin blue line, and one of the ironies of this case is that as we’ve seen across the county how many instances police have used deadly force in circumstances where that force is questioned, but nothing is ever done. In most cases, you don’t see training or suspension. When you contrast with what Officer Mader did and how he’s been treated, and officers who’ve used deadly force and how they’ve been treated, it speaks volumes to why we have a problem with deadly force in this country,” O’Brien added.

Mader has no regrets and still believes he did the right thing.

“I wouldn’t change anything. Even after them saying that I failed to eliminate a threat and that it should have been handled differently, I still believe I did the right thing. And a lot of people think I did the right thing, too. I know it’s not just me,” he said. And he’s right, TFTP knows Mader did the right thing, which is why we’ve been reporting on it for two years.

Shooting and killing suicidal or mentally distraught people sadly seems to be the standard operating procedure for police across the country. We have covered countless cases over the years where officers have indiscriminately killed suicidal people instead of helping them out.

Obviously, if a family member makes a phone call to police because a loved one is suicidal, the last thing they want is for someone to get hurt, but when police arrive the situation tends to escalate quickly and result in violence.

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WATCH: Veteran Nearly Killed by Cops for Legal Open Carry Wins $175K, Gets Gun Back


Temple, TX – After more than four years, and $175,000, an Iraq War veteran finally has his firearms back following a confrontation with police that went viral in 2013.

Temple police seized a Black Jack Firearms AR-15 and a Kimber Ultra Carry Pro II .45 caliber handgun from Army First Sergeant C.J. Grisham, after they apprehended him on the side of the road, while he and his 15-year-old son were hiking for an Eagle Scout project in March 2013.

The entire incident was caught on film, and instantly went viral, causing outrage over the violation of Grisham’s civil rights. In the video, a compliant—but objecting—Grisham can be seen arguing the legality of the stop, the manhandling treatment he receives and his subsequent arrest.

Grisham knew his rights under Texas law, after having successfully completed concealed carry weapons training and securing his concealed handgun license. He also knew the stop was illegal.

Officer Steve Ermis was the first officer to make contact with Grisham and his son. Instead of inquiring as to whether Grisham had a CHL for the weapons he was carrying, Ermis approached Grisham, reached out and grabbed the AR-15, and as soon as Grisham’s hand came near it, Ermis pulled out his own gun and pointed it at Grisham.

Even though he was legally open-carrying his long gun, and legally concealed carrying his handgun, Grisham was manhandled by police, and when he questioned the officers’ legal reason for detaining and disarming him, he was arrested.

Ermis first charged Grisham with the misdemeanor of “resisting arrest,” but later changed the charge to interfering with the duties of a peace officer. Ermis then claimed that confronted Grisham for walking on the wrong side of the road.

Not only was Grisham charged with criminal activity, but he was forced to defend himself in court against the charges. Even though the first trial ended with a hung jury, he was eventually convicted in the second trial of “interfering with the duties of a law enforcement officer,” a misdemeanor, but it wasn’t without a hefty price.

Grisham’s court costs, legal fees, and miscellaneous costs were paid for by and totaled $175,000. Larry Keilberg fund’s national director told the Temple Daily Telegram, Grisham’s case was the result of an, “out of control legal system starting with a bully cop, manipulation of the charges to fit the defense case, followed by a very biased judge, Neel Richardson.”

The video suggested otherwise. The officers on the scene told Grisham he was grossly displaying his firearm, and that people were in fear. Ironically, the only dangerous actions taking place with Grisham’s firearms happened when Ermis disarmed Grisham. The officer slung the rifle wildly, even pointing it in several directions without first clearing the rifle and ensuring it was unloaded.

Grisham questioned the Temple police officers knowledge of the law, and they proudly replied that they were “exempt from the law” and that the citizens “don’t care what the law is.”

But it’s what happened to Grisham’s guns after his arrest that is making news today. His Black Jack Firearms AR-15 and Kimber Ultra Carry Pro II .45 caliber handgun were not promptly returned to him, even after the trial ended.

It took over four years for Temple police to return his weapons, even after he demanded them back in December 2013. At first, the police department claimed they didn’t have them. Then they said a court reporter had possession of them in a secured room, but still didn’t return them to him.

Following the ordeal, Grisham became the face of Open Carry Texas in 2014. The gun rights organization push for the ability to open carry handguns in Texas, which became legal in January 2016.

On June 30, Temple police finally released Grisham’s weapons to him. The Temple Daily Telegram reported that Grisham’s first actions were to clean and test-fire both weapons to make sure that they still worked.

“I’m relieved that after 1,567 days, I finally have the guns back that were stolen from me by Temple Police Department on a back country road where I was minding my own business,” Grisham said.

Once again, local police have proven they apparently have more power than the U.S. Constitution. They can not only detain, and disarm someone, but they can make up charges, force a man and his family to go through lengthy and stressful court proceedings, and prevent him from protecting his family with legally obtained and possessed weapons. Oh yeah…and now he also has a criminal record.

Grisham sued in court but the case was dismissed. He could still appeal to the Texas Supreme Court, but he has not stated whether or not he will.

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