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.