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Cop Who Decided Not to Shoot Wins Settlement

Stephen Mader gets $175K from West Virginia police department that fired him
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2018 1:47 PM CST
Cop Fired After Not Shooting Wins Settlement
   (Getty/Chalabala)

(Newser) – A West Virginia cop who made headlines for not shooting a man holding a gun has just won a $175,000 wrongful termination settlement from his former police department. The unusual case goes back to 2016, when Weirton police officer Stephen Mader responded to a call about a possibly suicidal man, reports the Guardian. Though the man was holding a gun, Mader did not consider him to be a threat. As he was trying to persuade the man to drop the weapon, two other officers arrived and fatally shot 23-year-old RJ Williams. Mader soon got a termination letter accusing him of failing to properly respond to the threat.

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“The unfortunate reality of police work is that making any decision is better than making no decision at all,” the letter read in part. Mader sued, and the city argued that he got fired in part of because of two previous incidents, including one in which he put a parking ticket inside a car without having a search warrant and then cursed at the owner's wife, reports the Weirton Daily Times. The two sides reached the settlement on Monday, and it stipulates that Mader's former police department won't try to prevent him from becoming a cop anywhere else. “At the end of the day, I’m happy to put this chapter of my life to bed,” he said. (Read more police shooting stories.)

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