Toronto constable held his fire when an assailant wanted him to shoot

Jack Young leaves a notes on April 24, 2018, at a makeshift memorial for victims in the van attack in Toronto, Ontario. Lars Hagberg/AFP/Getty Images

Constable Ken Lam didn’t want to shoot Alek Minassian, the man who appears to have been the driver of a van that killed 10 people in Toronto on Monday.

A video shot by bystanders shows Lam ordering Minassian to the ground, Minassian insisting that the constable shoot him.

“He’s shaken up by the whole thing, and shaken up by the magnitude. He said, ‘You know, I was just doing my job,’ ” Mike McCormack, the head of the police union in Toronto, tells the Toronto Star. “He’s been confronted by someone who is making like he has a weapon, threatening the officer’s life, trying to get the officer to shoot him, and he arrests that guy.”

Toronto is treating Lam like the hero he obviously is.

The incident stands in sharp contrast to the experience of Stephen Mader, a cop I wrote about last year in Weirton, W.Va., where Ronald Williams was begging to be shot and killed.

But Mader wouldn’t do it. Another cop showed up and did it.

Then Mader was fired.

In February of this year, Mader settled a lawsuit against his city for $175,000.

“No police officer should ever lose their job — or have their name dragged through the mud — for choosing to talk to, rather than shoot, a fellow citizen,” his lawyer said.

Mader isn’t a cop anymore. He drives a truck for a living now.