NEW YORK — Portions of a federal lawsuit filed by an oft-sued NYPD detective were thrown out for failing to state a claim on Tuesday, court records show. The lawsuit had spanned over three years.
The lawsuit was filed by David Terrell, an NYPD detective with a long history of misconduct allegations ranging from verbal threats to refusing to show a search warrant, in New York’s Eastern District Court.
According to ProPublica’s NYPD civilian complaint database, Terrell’s allegations reach a total of 33. Out of the 33, he was only disciplined for four.
In the suit, Terrell accused a number of parties, some being members of the media as well as lawyers, of violating his civil rights. In February, Terrell’s lawyer told the New York Post that he had “a whole long list” of people he said were ruining Terrell’s reputation, including “fake media” and the Bronx District Attorney’s Office.
21 defendants were named in the lawsuit, their names range from John Does to NYC mayor Bill De Blasio. The lawsuit was the latest attempt from Terrell’s legal team to seek legal recourse against those who they felt were unfairly targeting Terrell.
Medium.com, named in the suit, is a website where writers can host monetized content for other members to view. Civil rights activist Shaun King used the service to publish a scathing article on Terrell in August of 2017 titled “Soul Snatchers :: Part Two :: The Bronx Terrorist – Detective David Terrell”
In the article, which boasts a read time of just under half-an-hour, King described Terrell as a “rogue cop” and describes meeting community members in the Bronx, who he says refer to Terrell as “the terror.”
“I’ve written nearly a thousand stories on police brutality and David Terrell is one of the top three worst people I’ve ever profiled,” King wrote. “The other two cops are in prison. Terrell should join them. It’s a crime that he is still on the force and has been allowed to terrorize thousands of families over the course of his career.”
King wrote that he traveled to the borough with a private investigator before traveling the streets, inquiring with passerby on if they knew Terrell or had any interaction with him. King said the outpour of grief from civilians made him realize Terrell “terrorized people all over New York.”
King went on to summarize and link over 15 lawsuits against Terrell. Accusations levied against the detective included falsifying evidence, beating a mother in front of her children, and arresting a man eight different times without reason.
After Terrell had all but two lawsuits either dropped or settled out-of-court in 2018, he told the New York Post “Thank God it’s over. That’s it. It put a damper on my career.”
On Tuesday, King posted a celebratory message to Instagram after the lawsuit was dismissed.
“All over New York for almost two decades this man has terrorized women, children, and families – beating and battering them,” King wrote. “Framing them for crimes they didn’t commit.”
“I met his victims face to face. And saw the terror he caused,” King added. “He never imagined that they’d one day stand up to him. Or find me and have me stand up to him.” King added that he believed the city of New York refuses to fire Terrell because he “knows too much.”
“David Terrell – if you see this – stand down homie,” King concluded, sharing the message to his audience of over three million users.
It’s unclear whether, like King, the remaining parties have had their claims dismissed as well.
(Header image courtesy of Steven Hirsch)