Settlements top $1M for much-sued NYPD sergeant accused of unwarranted stops, arrests, raids

by Abdulhaqq Obisesan Oladimeji
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An NYPD sergeant has hit a less than enviable milestone — lawsuits against him have topped the $1 million mark in settlements, the Daily News has learned.

Sgt. David Grieco, nicknamed “Bullethead” by his detractors, has been sued 46 times — believed to be near the top of the list for the most-sued cop — with 24 lawsuits thus far settled. The city has paid out $1,066,750 in taxpayer money to those who have accused him of unconstitutional street stops, illegal arrests and raids without warrants.

One settlement was for $103,000 but most have settled for tens of thousands of dollars.

In 2019, NYPD Detective Jodi Brown of Bronx Narcotics was revealed by civil rights advocates to have been named in 30 suits that settled for $1,244,500, including $614,500 paid to a 19-year-old man who accused a group of cops of beating him with a baton and kicking him as he lay on the ground.

The suits against Grieco started when the 16-year veteran was an anti-crime cop in East New York, Brooklyn, and have continued in his current assignment as a field intelligence officer in East Flatbush.

“Grieco epitomizes the lack of accountability and widespread impunity throughout the NYPD,” said Molly Griffard, a Legal Aid lawyer. “New Yorkers need the mayor and police commissioner to take action to root out misconduct and stop giving serial abusers like Grieco mere slaps on the wrist for abusing our neighbors.”

Grieco has been cited several times by the NYPD for failing to make a log book entry after taking enforcement action and last year he was docked 10 vacation days for an unjustified car stop.

But Grieco, the NYPD said in a statement, keeps New Yorkers safe by taking guns off the street and “has made and supervised hundreds of arrests that did not lead to any civil litigation.” The NYPD also noted that a settlement “is not an admission of wrongdoing.”

Joshua Moskovitz, a lawyer involved in two cases against Grieco that were settled, said good arrests shouldn’t mean the NYPD turns a kind eye to dozens of misconduct allegations.

“To me, it’s incredible that the city hasn’t already taken steps to terminate him,” Moskovitz said “What would any reasonable [private sector] employer do if an employee cost them a million dollars in liability over 40 different lawsuits?

“At some point any reasonable employer would say, ‘I can’t keep you on.”

None of the settlements have involved any acknowledgment of wrongdoing. And in some of the suits it’s not clear if Grieco or other cops named with him are the main alleged aggressors.

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