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Bullied, branded a coward and forced to move: White cop who was fired for REFUSING to shoot dead a black suicidal suspect with an unloaded gun tells how he was cast out by the force

A white West Virginia police officer fired for not shooting dead a suicidal black suspect has spoken out about how he became an 'outcast' in his police department and was even forced to move towns to escape the abuse.
Weirton Police Department rookie Stephen Mader was dispatched to deal with the case of Ronald J Williams Jr, 23, on May 6 2016. Williams was armed with a gun outside his home after a drunken argument with his girlfriend and mother of his five-month-old son.
A former marine who served in Afghanistan, Mader, then 25, said he immediately became aware a distressed Williams, whose gun was not loaded, was trying to commit suicide by cop.
Former Weirton Police Officer Stephen Mader stands for a portrait in his backyard on Saturday, June 23, 2018 in New Cumberland
Former Weirton Police Officer Stephen Mader stands for a portrait in his backyard on Saturday, June 23, 2018 in New Cumberland
Mader
Mader was dispatched to deal with the case of R.J. Williams Jr, 23, (pictured) on May 6 2016. Williams was armed with a gun outside his home after a drunken argument with his girlfriend and mother of his five-month-old son
Mader (left) was dispatched to deal with the case of Ronald J Williams Jr, 23, (right) on May 6 2016. Williams was armed with a gun outside his home after a drunken argument with his girlfriend and mother of his five-month-old son
He pleaded with him to put the gun down and shouted 'I don't want to shoot you, brother' and an emotional Williams could only reply 'just shoot me, just shoot me'.
'It is a red flag,' Mader told ProPublica. 'I was just trying to calm him down. It was really just talking to him like he was a human being — talk to him like a guy who was in a wrong state of mind, like a guy who needed to be calmed down, who needed help.
'I didn't want to shoot him. I don't want to say this, because it's really corny, but I was kind of sacrificing my well-being for him. I'm not going to shoot this kid for my well-being. I'm going to wait to see more from him.'
However, the situation soon changed when Mader's two colleagues arrived on the scene. Another cop, Ryan Kuzma, fired four times fatally striking Williams in the head.
But rather than an investigation taking place into the officer who shot Williams, the police chief turned his focus to Mader. He was quietly fired.
'It was jaw-dropping,' Mader said. 'Kind of like a punch in the face.'
'No one talked to me. I was an outcast, just like that. No one tried to contact me to see if I was OK. No one tried to say, 'Hey, man, try and fight it.' It was like I didn't exist to them anymore.'
And when Mader broke his silence about his firing to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette he claimed more overt bullying began.
Mader claims Kuzma repeatedly texted him calling him a 'coward' and blamed him for threats being made against the department.
Ultimately the city agreed to a $175,000 settlement with Mader who was forced to move his family to New Cumberland in West Virginia where he now serves for the state's National Guard.
After the suit he put out a statement saying only: 'My hope is that no other person on either end of a police call has to go through this again.'
But his lawyer Timothy O'Brien said the case has had a chilling effect on officers considering whether to use lethal force.
'No police officer should ever lose their job … for choosing to talk to, rather than shoot, a fellow citizen.
'His decision to attempt to de-escalate the situation should have been praised, not punished. Simply put, no police officer should ever feel forced to take a life unnecessarily to save his career.'
One small reassurance was the contact Mader then had with the grieving Williams family.
Ronald J's sister Amanda told the website: 'My brother wasn't alone, that there was someone there that was looking at him as a person. I found him [Stephen] on Facebook, and I ended up messaging him on Messenger, just to thank him for what he did for my brother, and for being there for him.
'He said that he just wished that he could have had a few more seconds, that he wished it would have turned out different, that my brother would still be alive.'

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