Bronx cop says NYPD bosses are targeting him over abuse claims

Bronx cop says NYPD bosses are targeting him over abuse claims



An embattled Bronx detective who says police brass are hanging him out to dry has filed a federal discrimination complaint.


David Terrell, 44, the target of more than a dozen lawsuits, says a city agency has cleared him of repeatedly arresting one teen and making moves on his mom — all of which re-emphasizes the heap of brutality and arrest suits against him are baseless.


Yet, Terrell says, he’s still behind a desk while other officers who were roped in with him on accusations of dirty police work are on full duty and assigned to ranks with more pay and promising career paths.


On Thursday, he filed a discrimination complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, saying he’s been singled out by his NYPD superiors right up to Police Commissioner James O’Neill.

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Terrell’s police work came into focus following a civil lawsuit by Pedro Hernandez, 18. The cop said he was not involved in Hernandez’s July 2015 arrest in a shooting case that was later dismissed. The alleged victim claimed Terrell threatened to beat him if he didn’t name Hernandez as the gunman.


Hernandez was held on Rikers Island for more than a year on $250,000 bail for an arrest in a second shooting. He was released in July, when the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Group put up the bail money.


Bronx prosecutors ended up dismissing the case.


Prosecutors have said Hernandez had gang ties and a criminal past — even if four of seven felony arrests since 2014 have been dropped. He still faces charges for an unrelated robbery.

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Terrell, 44, also filed a notice in late August saying he’s planning to sue the city for $175 million because it doesn’t protect its officers and public taxpayer money from plaintiffs’ lawyers and investigators looking to make a quick buck on the backs of hard-working, successful cops.


The police commissioner is worried about his political career. They’re all worried about their political careers and they are sacrificing him,” Terrell’s lawyer, Eric Sanders, told the Daily News on Thursday.


Right now, Terrell, a detective specialist, has been stripped of his shield and gun. Back in the 42nd Precinct, he was a field intelligence officer.


Sanders said his client’s now working a desk job in Manhattan Central Booking — but police still ask him for tips and pointers on Bronx gang activity.

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Charmaine Dixon, 43, (r), pictured with her son Tamel, (l.), accused 42nd Precinct Detective David Terrell for assaulting her inside the 42nd Precinct.

(Gregg Vigliotti for New York Daily News)


“He’s an expert in this stuff,” said Sanders.


The police department didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.


A spokesman for the city Law Department declined comment.


A lawyer for the teen and mother — plus more than 20 other people who say Terrell’s done them dirty — didn’t sound fazed by Terrell’s discrimination charge. But they also didn’t buy it.

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“He’s not innocent in any way, shape or form,” attorney John Scola said.


Terrell’s filing says the Civilian Complaint Review Board cleared him on Sept. 5 on allegations that Terrell beat Angelo Cotto while making advances on Cotto’s mother, Elizabeth Rosado.


Sanders wrote to O’Neill, saying the CCRB conclusions fit with his law firm’s own review of Terrell’s career “which clearly indicates these, and the other allegations of criminal activities and serious misconduct lodged against him are ‘false.’ “


Sanders Sept. 14 letter demanded “immediate reinstatement” for his client — but he said he’s heard nothing from O’Neill.


Even if Rosado and Cotto’s CCRB case is off the table, they have filed a federal lawsuit against Terrell in Manhattan. That case is pending.


Scola said Rosado and Cotto lodged their CCRB complaints by themselves, so he couldn’t speak to the outcome. But he said the oversight agency “doesn’t have the teeth to scare the police to participate fully.” 

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