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Did cop’s ‘braver’ choice lose him his job?

On Behalf of | Sep 25, 2016 | Wrongful Termination |

As a society today, we collectively face various sources of discord and frustration. Race relations and violence within the police force are matters of top concern today. It seems like there is consistently a new story of unarmed, African American individuals being shot by authorities.

An out-of-state case relating to this high-touch American matter stands out in a couple of notable ways. First, the police officer at the center of the incident did NOT shoot the civilian. Two other officers who responded to the scene shot and killed the suspect.

Second, this story is noteworthy because that officer who didn’t pull the trigger lost his job. Did he lose his job wrongfully? He claims so.

The status of the now former police officer’s employment was at-will, and he notes how suing for wrongful termination likely won’t lead to justice as he sees fit. Still, he did meet with an employment law attorney in order to review his legal rights and how different options might play out and reflect on him as a person and proud police officer.

In the former officer’s mind, he was deescalating the situation before the victim was shot. He believed the suspect was only suicidal and had no clear intention to harm anyone besides himself.

Supporters of the ex-officer’s decision not to shoot call his inaction the “brave” choice. Still, he lost his job because, according to the department, he put the other officers in danger by not firing his weapon.

All employment cases have their own unique details and, therefore, options (or lack of legal options). This man’s case is complicated because of his status as a government employee. The conflict over his termination highlights how fighting back against a controversial employment decision can prompt important societal questions. 

If you have lost your job and you believe you did so unethically, work with a lawyer in order to explore your rights. Doing so can also work to send the message that there might be a societal problem contributing to your and likely others’ difficult situation.