Lawsuit: Ex-officer charged because of gender

Posted at 6:54 PM, May 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-23 18:54:22-04

MATTAWAN, Mich. — A former Mattawan police officer has filed a lawsuit against the police department and Van Buren County prosecutor.

Chelsey Omilian was charged with reckless use of a firearm in November 2017 after firing several shots at a fleeing stolen vehicle. A jury eventually found her not guilty of the charge.

The lawsuit specifically names Van Buren County Prosecutor Michael Bedford, Mattawan Police Chief Scott Herbert and the Village of Mattawan.

Citing a separate incident where a male South Haven police officer shot at a moving vehicle containing a suspect, the lawsuit claims Omilian was only charged because she is a woman.

It also says Bedord made sexist statements while prosecuting the case, including questioning her fitness to be a police officer because of her gender.

Omilian is seeking damages, legal fees and to get her job back with the police department.