Acquitted ex-officer claims discrimination

Southwest Michigan
chelsey omilian 012519_1548458802702.jpg.jpg

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A former Mattawan police officer is suing, saying she was fired and charged for opening fire on a fleeing car because she is a woman.

Chelsey Omilian filed the federal lawsuit against Van Buren County Prosecutor Michael Bedford, Mattawan Police Chief Scott Herbert and the village of Mattawan Wednesday. The suit alleges a violation of Omilian’s 14th Amendment equal protection rights, discrimination by the village and malicious prosecution.

Omilian had been a police officer in Mattawan only about two months when, in November 2017, she shot at on a stolen car as the driver took off, causing a minor injury to someone inside the car. She was ultimately fired and charged with misdemeanor reckless use of a firearm. Omilian argued she was justified in shooting at the car because she was defending herself and others and a jury agreed, finding her not guilty in January of this year.

In her lawsuit, Omilian said Bedford decided not to prosecute a similar case involving a male officer in South Haven and claimed that he charged her only because she is a woman.

She also alleges Bedford made sexist comments to others during the investigation, though the lawsuit does not list them.

Omilian is asking for damages, attorney fees and her job back.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Know something newsworthy? Report It!

24 Hour News 8 Links