Skip to comments.Hearne City Council Fires Officer Who Shot & Killed 93-year-old Woman
Posted on 05/12/2014 8:19:50 AM PDT by marktwain
HEARNE The police officer who shot and killed a 93-year-old woman is out of a job.
Saturday afternoon, the city council met to discuss taking possible disciplinary action against Officer Stephen Stem. It took them less than 30 minutes to reach a unanimous vote to fire him.
Stem responded to a 911 call Tuesday from Pearlie Goldens nephew. She was upset about not being allowed to drive after failing a drivers license renewal test. Roy Jones says when he wouldnt give Golden her car keys, she went into the house and grabbed a .38 revolver. Jones then ran to the side of the house and called 911.
Stem ordered Golden to put the gun down, but Golden refused. Jones said Golden fired two shots gun into the ground. At that point, Robertson County District Attorney Coty Seigert said Stem fired four shots, hitting Golden twice, once in the right arm and once in the upper chest. Seigert says they have not confirmed whether Golden fired first.
During a protest march on Thursday, Quannel X and the Black Panther Nation threatened to protest in front of Stems house, if he was not fired. But the activist asked protestors to give (council members) a chance to do what's right right.
Mayor Ruben Gomez said he would recommend termination. Today, city attorney Bryan Ross advised the council do to the same.
In a statement Friday to News 3, Stem's attorney Robert McCabe said he is fully confident that Officer Stems actions were immediately necessary and legally justified.
Today, McCabe told us he will meet with Stem next week to discuss the termination and what step to take next.
Stem has been a police officer since August 2008. He previously worked for Bryan and Lott. Stem joined the Hearne Police Department in July 2012. Six months later, he shot and killed 28-year-old Tederalle Satchell who was shooting a gun from inside a vehicle in the parking lot of the Columbus Village Apartments. A Grand Jury did not indict Stem in that shooting.
The District Attorneys Office tells News 3 it could take a couple of months for the Golden case to be presented to a grand jury.
The officer is not a rookie, has more than five years as an officer, and his previous shooting looks completely justified.
Half of Hearnes City Council voted out on same day police officer fired
The same day the Hearne City Council voted unanimously to terminate the police officer who shot and killed a 93-year-old woman, half of them are voted out themselves.
According to a report from KBTX, Lashunda White heavily defeated Place 2 Councilman Larry Welch with 58 percent of the vote. The 589 votes for White to 425 votes for Welch is by far the biggest margin of victory in the council races.
Matthew Gomez, the son of Hearnes mayor, was beat by challenger Hazel Embra. Embra received just 39 more votes (540-501) than Gomez. But it was enough to give her 52 percent of the votes and the Place 4 seat.
In a loss that is sure to sting, Councilman Steven Catalina lost to challenger Joyce Rattler by just one vote (509-508). It is unclear whether Catalina will ask for a recount.
Welch, Gomez and Catalina joined the rest of the city council Saturday afternoon for a special meeting to discuss whether to keep Officer Stephen Stem on the police force. They voted 6-0 to fire him, just five hours before the polls closed.
She shot twice.
Knee jerk racial BS.
Maybe the next person in the position of the nephew should call Q-10 and see how he would deal with the situation. Particularly after she starts firing the gun.
Remember people, life is fragile.
That applies to everyone.
Should this old lady have been shot? I dunno, but she was the one to escalate the situation.
Should this cops life be ruined?
Tragic all around.
I think there is a lot of sympathy that she was 93 and “she” was a “she”.
Had the deceased been say a 33 year old male, and fired two shots in the ground in front of the officer, most of us would likely be thinking the officer was justified.
tough call on his part. damned if you do damned if you don’t.
Oh yeah, and I think she was black.
You try popping off a few rounds “into the ground “ in front of an officer.
Yer gonna get killed. It aint a game.
When you call the police to help you deal with an elderly person who is likely experiencing mental health issues, they should not respond in the same manner as they do to a criminal assault.
I'm not finding a 93 year-old woman firing 2 shots into the ground to be tremendously dangerous. Yes, yes, potentially dangerous, but not likely. If I was there and the police weren't, I think I would have retreated and given her some room to diffuse. Most likely outcome would have been her going back in and taking a nap.
I suspect that the cop in this case had no idea what the situation was when he pulled up, which speaks to problems with 911. IMHO cops on physical disability should be put on 911 duty, where their experience would be very helpful.
Bottom line: If you have friend or family member who has a mental break and isn't responding rationally, don't call the police. They aren't apparently trained to diffuse such situations, move straight to confrontation, and use lethal force when your obviously non-compliant loved one continues to be non-compliant.
It is amazing what cops can get away with and what they can’t. They can raid the wrong house, shoot dogs, arrest people for “resisting arrest,” and violate citizens rights in general without punishment. However if a protected minority (twofer, elderly and black) is firing off a revolver Yosemite Sam style and they shoot back that is a bridge too far for the politicians.
For the most part.... what cops really excel at is running a radar gun and writing revenue generation tickets to basically decent people who happen to be driving more than 7 mph over the posted limit.
There’s the rub.
“They aren’t apparently trained to diffuse such situations”
Actually most larger and medium sized agency officers are well trained and receive in-service training periodically on the subject. He had a person in a reportedly domestic disturbance fire two rounds in front of him. Arm chairing is easy. What if she kept firing and one of her rounds ricocheted and hit someone? What then?
“Bottom line: If you have friend or family member who has a mental break and isn’t responding rationally, don’t call the police. They aren’t apparently trained to diffuse such situations, move straight to confrontation, and use lethal force when your obviously non-compliant loved one continues to be non-compliant.”
We had a similar “incident” in the neighboring city of San Ramon, CA. A friend called the cops because she was concerned about a resident ( small Asian female) with whom she had just had a telecom. The caller asked the SRPD ( really the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Dept. because SR is a “contract city,”) to go see if the woman was o.k. She opened the door, saw the cops and ran to her kitchen and picked up a knife. Whereupon the cops shot her to death. There really isn’t any justification for these kinds of acts on the part of cops. It’s as though any pretext is sufficient to kill someone ( or their pet). I would not call the cops for anything!
Sounds like the old lady committed suicide-by-cop. She had just failed her drivers license renewal test, and I guess she felt that she had nothing left to live for without her mobility.
“They arent apparently trained to diffuse such situations
Actually most larger and medium sized agency officers are well trained and receive in-service training periodically on the subject. He had a person in a reportedly domestic disturbance fire two rounds in front of him. Arm chairing is easy. What if she kept firing and one of her rounds ricocheted and hit someone? What then?”
When one shoots there are consequences. Had Granny Dearest fired one shot in front of me, let alone two shots, any reasoned and prudent person would assume their life to be in danger and thus return fire would be justifiable.
Because the officer is white and the female was black and elderly is mere official cowardice, probably due to Jackson/Sharpton Fear Syndrome.
I agree-in my former profession, we were trained to instruct relatives of clients who were emotionally unstable how to restrain the client, to call others familiar with the situation to defuse the situation peacefully-maybe some extra time and effort is better than a dead, innocent relative?
We never, ever advised they to call the cops for a family argument unless someone was being held hostage in a barricaded building by an assailant with an arsenal-it is ridiculous-cops are for real crimes, they are not mental health professionals...
There really is not any justification for calling the cops on your neighbor unless you want their pets killed, them harrassed, roughed up, dragged away in handcuffs or killed outright.
You do not call the cops for someone who needs help.
What if she was your mother? Arm chairing is easy, but then so is a shoot everything policy.
I've got $100 that says that the cop wouldn't have shot a family member of his under the exact same circumstances. The job comes with accepting a certain amount of risk, if you are going to 'protect and serve'.
So, going back to your "what if" question, you do eliminate the "what if someone would have gotten hurt?" question by killing the old woman. Do you see the issue with logic trap with that solution?
Underlying point being that there should be better methods for handling crazy people than euthanizing them.
Yep, I’m guessing that giving the woman her keys back (and disabling the car) would have been a quick fix.
A 93 year old woman or a 10 year old boy firing a gun is exactly the same threat as a 20 year old, 300 pound guy firing a gun.
I have no idea whether this particular shooting was righteous, but the age and sex of the shooter is irrelevant.
This is, BTW, one of the drawbacks of widely available firearms. With no gun involved, the age and sex of the person becomes very relevant and the situation could almost certainly have been defused without anybody being injured or killed.
Correct-I said that when this was initially posted-disconnect one of the battery cables, the accelerator, etc. I’ve only disconnected an accelerator once, but it was enough to stop my extremely inebriated first husband from driving when he could barely walk-when he gave up, I took the keys and hid them-no cops, no jailed or dead person, no fault or guilt on my part...
There was in a previous time. They were institutionalized but alas the left and PC crowd deemed that they “deserved” to live among us no matter their behavior or ramifications. A pill can fix everything, not.
As to your what if your mother question? If you know your mother and actually spend time with her more than once a year you would know what she is capable of or not. This officer was not facing his mother. Non-sequitor. He was answering a domestic disturbance call and facing a person with a weapon who was firing it. It is easy to say what you would do when you have days to analyze and form an opinion. The officer has seconds to make a decision. Unless you have been under fire those decisions are unknown until they happen.
If that is your answer, disband the police department. They are of no use to us.
Whatever happened to bean-bag shotguns? Yes, a couple of rounds sprayed around the nayborhood isn’t good, but where is the situation assessment process anymore?
I always thought the Officer was justified in this case. I was stunned that the Nephew called the cops. With senile or demented elderly you give her the car keys and wait for her to cycle into a different state of mind, or takes a nap. Then you take her pistol and keys then get her medical attention. Why on earth call the cops when crazy granny pulls a gun. Leave and come back later with food. She is like a 2 year old with a toy.
Why can’t people take care of their own without getting the State involved? The State and Law Enforcement should be the last option not the first option.
I think your $100 is safe, and you've also got the Thread Win.
Startled front desk personnel summoned the cops. When a lone officer arrived, he gave the man a proper military salute, addressing him as "Sir" and "Colonel." He told him he had been sent to assist the Colonel in securing the area and taking control of the situation. Returning the salute, the "Colonel" returned the weapon to his waistband.
From there it was just a matter of "tea and conversation" for a few minutes, while the Colonel agreed to a "weapons inspection" by the "Provost." Tragedy averted by sympathetic and well trained facility personnel who fully informed responders of the situation and its background, and a quick thinking young officer trained in the days prior to the militarization of U.S. law enforcement.
Excellent example of ‘to protect and to serve’.
Our military in combat has tighter ROE than our domestic police force.