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Former officer faced retaliation for choosing not to shoot

Sometimes, employees in California and across the country will face punishment for doing the right thing. A wrongful termination lawsuit filed by a police officer in another state details allegations of retaliation because the officer chose not to discharge his firearm. Allegedly, the officer chose not to use deadly force on a suicidal man and was punished for his decision.

The lawsuit said the officer received a call about a domestic dispute and, as he arrived on the scene, encountered a visibly distraught man yielding a gun. In a suicide attempt, the distraught man begged the officer to shoot him, according to the lawsuit. The officer claimed he used his experience and training to de-escalate the situation. The officer said that, even though the man had a gun, he believed the man did not pose a threat to others but wanted to harm himself.

Allegedly, two other officers arrived on the scene and one of them shot and killed the distraught man. According to the suit, it was later discovered that the man's gun was not loaded. The plaintiff claimed that, in an attempt to defend the officer that killed the man, his superiors punished him for refusing to shoot and terminated his employment. The lawsuit was recently settled for $175,000.

Employment laws in California and across the United States exist to protect workers from retaliatory acts in their place of employment. Those who face retaliation in the workplace have the right to take legal action and pursue damages. A successfully litigated lawsuit may result in vital compensation to help with the financial and personal struggles that come with loss of employment.

Source: wvrecord.com, "Former Weirton police officer settles wrongful termination case", Chris Dickerson, Feb. 12, 2018

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