Press Release | May 12, 2014
Fatal Shooting | Officer Stephen Stem

May 12, 2014

Stephen Stem is deeply disappointed that the Hearne City Council terminated his employment, without cause, while the Texas Rangers investigation into the facts surrounding this incident was still pending. Mr. Stem is pursuing his legal options concerning this wrongful and unjust termination.

Stephen Stem has been overwhelmed with support from concerned citizens all over the country who see the City’s actions as premature, cowardly and unwarranted. Police not only have a duty to protect themselves from imminent harm, but also innocent citizens who rely on them “to protect and serve.” In this case, Stephen Stem did exactly that – he protected a frightened citizen, Mr. Roy Jones, from the very real and serious threat created by Ms. Pearlie Golden when she made the conscious choice to threaten Mr. Jones with a loaded handgun. Some members of the community have expressed their opinion that, due to her age, Ms. Golden posed no real threat to anyone. If that were true, then why did Mr. Jones call 911? If she were not a threat to him, the police would not have been called and Mr. Jones would have handled the situation without police involvement. Further, once Mr. Stem arrived, she pointed her loaded gun directly at him and disregarded his repeated commands to drop the weapon. What was Mr. Stem expected to do if not protect himself and Mr. Jones at that moment? If Mr. Stem failed to act and Ms. Golden shot and killed Mr. Jones, what position would Mr. Stem have placed himself in? Was her life more valuable than the life of Mr. Jones?

Unfortunately, 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 undisputable 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 M. McCabe
Attorney for Officer Stephen Stem