Stephen Stem, the fired police officer who shot and killed a 93-year-old woman in her home, is defending his use of deadly force and lashing out about his firing.  He was dismissed from duty at the Hearne Police Department over the weekend.  He called his termination unjust.

“The knee-jerk reaction to terminate Mr. Stem was not about whether Ms. Golden chose to create and perpetuate a life-threatening situation. That is a clear and indisputable fact.  Rather, the city’s decision was about appeasing certain members of the community who want to make this case about Ms. Golden’s age, the fact she is African-American, or the fact she is a woman.  None of those factors played a role in Stem’s decision to use deadly force,” Robert McCabe, Stem’s attorney, said in a statement.

Texas Rangers are investigating the death of Pearlie Golden, a longtime resident of a small town between Dallas and Houston.  She was shot multiple times.  A relative of Golden’s called 911 asking for help.  According to Robertson County District Attorney Coty Siegert, the police were called because she was “brandishing a firearm…[The] officer asked her to put the handgun down and when she would not, shots were fired.”

Stem fired three times, hitting Golden at least twice.  She was transported to a hospital where she died.

“Police not only have a duty to protect themselves from imminent harm, but also innocent citizens who rely on them ‘to protect and serve,’ ” Stem’s attorney said in his statement.

“I would expect people to be upset about this, a young police officer shooting a 93-year-old lady,” City Attorney Bryan Russ Jr. said, “I’m upset about it. Most of our citizens are upset, but at the same time, I don’t believe all the facts have come to the surface…”


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