Police Abuse

Cop Who Didn't Shoot Black Man Fired for 'Failing to Eliminate Threat'

Ronald Williams had an unloaded gun the fired cop said he didn't point at him.


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Stephen Mader of Weirton, West Virginia, a Marine veteran who served in Afghanistan, was fired by the police department after being involved in an incident in which he opted not to shoot Ronald Williams who had an (unloaded) gun that was not being pointed at Mader and who had told Mader to "just shoot" him, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

After a domestic fight in May, Williams' former girlfriend, and the mother of his child, called 911 to report Williams was holding a knife to his neck and was suicidal. When she told Williams she had called police, she says he retrieved a handgun from his car and told her he would get cops to kill him.

When Mader arrived he tried to de-escalate the situation. He says he was informed by his training as a Marine to "see the whole person" as well as his police training. According to Mader, Williams was not pointing the gun at him, appeared to want to commit suicide-by-cop, and flicked his wrist to get Mader to shoot.

Unfortunately, when two other cops showed up, one of them shot Williams in the back of the head, killing him. The three cops were placed on routine administrative leave, and when Mader returned he was informed he was being fired.

His termination letter accused him of "failing to eliminate a threat" by not shooting Williams, as well as two other incidents—one in which he didn't report the death of an elderly woman who appeared to have died of a stroke (no charges have been filed and Mader was only one of three cops at the scene), and another in which he allegedly swore at a woman whose husband he arrested for disorderly conduct over a parking ticket.

Mader said he was not given an opportunity to explain the two incidents. He also did not show up for a June termination hearing where the decision was approved, and says the police chief told reporters all three officers were back at work just a day after Mader received his termination letter.

Mader insists the other officers were not unjustified in shooting Williams because they did not know what he knew. "Firing me for it, it's less of an eyebrow-raiser then to say the other officers are justified in what they did—which I think they were," Mader told the Post-Gazette.

The West Virginia Civil Liberties Union and Williams' family say they are investigating the incident on their own. Local and state police are also investigating, but will not even confirm whether they have audio or video footage of the shooting, which happened more than four months ago.

Via the Washington Post's Radley Balko.

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  1. Welp, now we know what it takes to get a cop fired.

    1. He made the other cops look bad. What did you expect to happen?

      1. It is much more than that. If they admit he was correct what are they going to do to the goon that did shoot the guy? If it was reasonable not to shoot…

        1. So now we know? Part of the job of a police-person is to enable “suicide by cop” of black men especially.

          Is it also part of the police-person’s job to to enable “suicide by cop” of other demographics? If so, which demographics? Explain and defend your position, in 500 words or more, using tasteful and polite “feelz”?

      2. Uncivil says, “He made the other cops look bad.”

        Bullshit. He provided plenty of cover and support for his fellow gang members. No Sympathy for the Devil.

        “Mader insists the other officers were NOT unjustified in shooting Williams because they did not know what he knew. “Firing me for it, it’s less of an eyebrow-raiser then to say the other officers are justified in what they did?which I think they were,” said Mader.

        Fuck Mader

        1. Mader submitted to his lower cop impulse, a twinge of humanity, when he resisted firing. We can clearly see the dominant impulses that win at the end of the day. Another rotten apple.

          At the end of the day he supports murdering a man with an unloaded gun who is not pointing it at Them….because of ignorance. Have a nice day.

          1. “But before he could, two other Weirton officers arrived on the scene. When Williams walked towards them and brandished his weapon ? which was later discovered to be unloaded ? one fatally shot him.”

            Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..z4KBzQCJc1
            Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

            So, having figure out he couldn’t get shot the first time, he escalated until he did.

            Sorry that the facts don’t fit your narrative. It looks like we’re finished.

            Don’t forget to swallow.

            1. ImanAzol…We can at least agree on that.

              Now, the above source does not provide your cited information. I’m not doing a thesis, Uranazhol.

              Secondly, the first officer on scene should have communicated, with fellow officers, to the situation. That is on Mader too. Presumably the girlfriend advised 911 of his plan but if not your source says he drew his own conclusion.

              Thirdly, he still does not appear to have pointed the gun at them

              Swallow!?? Bwahaha I choke on small bones. Only douchebags do Fakebook. Case closed. Try again next time.

            2. Shot in the back of the head, because when someone is facing away from you is when they are most of a threat.

        2. I’m trying to decide if you cockbags are just bigots, or actually retarded.

          If an arriving officer (or ordinary person) sees what he believes to be a threat, he has every right to act to defend himself and others. The SUBJECTIVE circumstances are the matter of point, because a person cannot make a decision on information not available to them.

          You’re as bad as the Loony Left trying to judge comments of 60 years ago against today’s morality, or the hardcore copsuckers who think boys in blue can do no wrong.

          1. Uranazhol says, “If an arriving officer (or ordinary person) sees what he believes to be a threat, he has every right to act to defend himself and others.”

            Bullshit. Every hear of a duty to retreat. You know, for ordinary people…not your betters. You go to someone’s home and shoot them after they have their gun out and see how that works out for you. Back to school for you.

  2. “Sorry, you show too much restraint to be a police officer. We want shoot first, ask questions later types. Go find yourself another job!” How nice. Fired for NOT shooting a non-threat. Wonder how the copsuckers will explain this one?

    1. Totality of the circs, brah



      1. This is what cops are trained to see themselves as:


    2. Wonder how the copsuckers will explain this one?

      Being a police officer means putting oneself in danger every second of a 8 hour day, five days a week, plus overtime directing traffic for the road race or acting as security at the ballgame.
      Every person a cop meets is secretly a dark soul waiting to kill as is every waggly tailed dog, soft kitten, fluffy chicken and shrill parakeet. If my husband can’t trust his fellow men in blue to shoot the shit out of all the dangers around us he is no good to himself, his brothers or the community and must be fired. We need real men with courage to stand up to the uniquely dangerous world we live in today.

      /cop wife

      How was that?

      1. Doesn’t come across as panicky enough. Also needs to sound more demeaning and morally superior. Not bad though.


        1. Don’t forget to break down crying half way through for no apparent reason.

      2. No mentioning children or the words “Public Servant.” 7.5/10

        1. Nah “peace officer” would’ve been better.

      3. How was that?

        Like a champ with her eye on the prize…pension.

        I love the smell of a napalm rationalization in the morning.

      4. You forgot to mention that after he shoots the dog and the black man, he went home safe at the end of the shift, and that’s what’s really important.

  3. Procedures were not followed.

  4. Local and state police are also investigating…

    Termination before the investigation? Well, I guess they didn’t want to get in trouble for failure to eliminate the threat.

    1. They could have just shot Mader, too.

  5. ?T.
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      1. Who’s Illary?

  6. He says he was informed by his training as a Marine to “see the whole person” as well as his police training.

    Apparently they didn’t remove all of the Marine – who understand rules of engagement better than “trained” police.

    1. This reminds me of something I heard from other Marines once – the worst guys in Iraq when it came to being over the line aggressive on patrols were the reservists who were cops in civilian life. Some of the active duty guys I knew hated those reservists because they were constantly escalating the hostility in relations with the locals rather than trying to keep things calm.

  7. I’m sorry to see Bo Cara is back in the Brickbat thread.

    1. Exactly my thought as I read through.

      The Tulpa-Bo connection really destroyed Bo. He rarely brings the Bo character out to play anymore.

  8. I can’t even begin to comprehend the logic of being called because a guy is threatening suicide, and thinking the solution is to shoot the guy before he can off himself. They really are beyond parody. Don’t hurt yourself, of I’ll be forced to shoot…

    1. Suicide is illegal, homie. He had to be stopped from committing a crime! Why do you hate law and order?

      1. suicide is only illegal in some states of course even then the state wants a part of the action by requiring a doctor to fill out paper work for your suicide. must have our regulations you know.

    2. Don’t hurt yourself, of I’ll be forced to shoot…

      That’s some Ankh-Morpork antics right there

  9. And you people complain that police unions are too powerful.

    1. In this case, it is possible that the police chief that fired him is a real turd, and he probably got to be the chief with support from the police union.

      There’s a lot more on the story over at Daily Mail:


  10. There is zero tolerance for anything that may endanger officer safety. A non-cop with a gun is a deadly threat that must be met with deadly force. Period. End of story.

    1. Especially black people with guns amirite

  11. Well, now we know what a cop has to do to get fired: show restraint and NOT shoot someone. It’s Kafka’s world, we’re just stuck with living in it.

  12. There seems to be something backwards about a soldier’s training is more restrained and less likely to shoot first in a dangerous situation than police training.

    1. Well, Marines are put in situations where anyone they meet might be a threat but they’ve got to operate under ROE that don’t permit them to shoot unless fired on, whereas police operate in situations where most people they meet aren’t a threat and they’re encouraged to do whatever it takes to ensure they go home without so much as a raised pulse or moment of tension, so…

      1. “Well, Marines are put in situations where anyone they meet might be a threat but they’ve got to operate under ROE that don’t permit them to shoot unless fired on, ” This is a fairly new policy, and not necessarily a well liked one. However, with all new bureaucracy, someone screwed it up for the rest of us, and now we have ridiculous ROE terms.

  13. That’s a shame. He did a pretty decent job of showing that everyone shuffling papers around him are pretty inept or otherwise socially disturbed fuckers. Here’s hoping it doesn’t end with him being literally burned alive.

  14. Hope the guy has good representation and can get his job back if he wants it.

  15. Which police department fired him?

  16. The story is pretty light on the details of what the officer or suspect was doing while the other two officers were moving into position and the other two incidents seem to be legitimate grounds for dismissal.

    1. There also doesn’t appear to be much effort to get a statement from the police department on the issue. Did Balko even talk to them? I usually enjoy his work, but this seems to lack any of his usual thoroughness.

    2. the other two incidents seem to be legitimate grounds for dismissal.

      Do you fire many people? The claims listed either need to be clearly backed up or hardly represent grounds for dismissal. We appear to be missing some paperwork and he swore are someone once are certainly within the employer’s purview but are hardly legitimate de facto. Especially in light of other more heinous things officers routinely get away with and still keep their jobs.

      1. Lol a cop fired for swearing at someone as well as for not killing another. That’s precious.

        1. You guys realize that criteria for firing police officer varies from department to department, right? I know that it’s common on this message board for people who get all caught up in cop hate to shut off their brains and assume there’s a universal standard of “things that will get a police officer fired”, but really it just depends on the department and city that officer works for and the circumstances of his situation.

          And you’re right that the previous incidents should require paperwork or explanation…did Ed talk to that police department to follow up and ask if those were provided, or did he just re-post a story and accept the fired officer’s word for it?

  17. So really, shouldn’t we just give all cops sniper rifles so they can safely eliminate any possible threat from the safest possible place?

    Got a domestic violence call? Just set up across the street and take out any suspects through the window. Much safer. Will go home at night.

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  21. I’d wager the fellow who “unfortunately died” after “officers reacted defensively” had brown skin. First, the fellow who shirked his duty to murder does not look all that Aryan. Second, the “more seasoned” murderers immediately smelt a Toussaint L’Ouverture conspiracy brewing and took appropriate action by shooting the man from behind. Are there any takers?

  22. God bless Mader for being able to read Williams’ intent and body language.

    Dr. Paul Ekman (whose seminal work on Facial Action Coding System led to the Fox series “Lie to Me”) wrote about some cops having this capability of reading body language and facial expressions and choosing NOT to shoot when they could have (and would have been justified).

    This ability can be taught!

    It should be standard training for ALL law enforcement officers, including the armed bureaucrats like those in the EPA and IRS that probably shouldn’t be armed in the first place.

    But the gov’t would rather pay out huge settlements or damages than pay to have all their armed agents trained properly on identifying real threats.

    A side benefit: sociopathic cops will do poorly in the FACS-based training, and this can be used to filter them out (deny them guns or put them on desk duty).

  23. How did they manage to shoot the guy in the back of the head when the statements said that he was facing them and waving the gun? Did they spread out and circle him or did they wait until he was face down on the ground?

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  26. “Unfortunately, when two other cops showed up, one of them shot Williams in the back of the head, killing him. ”

    So the cop did not shoot center mass but instead elected to go for the classic video game/Spike Lee movie Headshot?

    Shot in the back of the head at that? When a person is not facing you it is hard to brandish a weapon at them. If he was brandishing a weapon at two then the third officer was shooting at Williams while the other officer(s) were in the line of fire.

    And I have not even had my coffee yet.

    seems pretty obvious the wrong officer was fired. As for Mader I am sure his statements about the other officers being justified were made in order to prevent another headshot from this incident.

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