A former NYPD narcotics officer who was shot in the back by a fellow cop during a drug bust eleven years ago has agreed to a $3.25 million settlement with the city, far less than the $31 million he originally sought. It's better than nothing, but Dexter Brown, who takes steroids every day just to get out of bed and needs a cane to walk, is, understandably, still pissed about the shooting—especially since the NYPD has not admitted any wrongdoing nor disciplined the cop who pulled the trigger: Detective Luis Lopez, who is still on the force.
Speaking to reporters on the steps of the State Supreme Court in Brooklyn yesterday, Brown said, "Not only are we being beaten, crippled and killed, other actions are being taken against us needlessly." He went on to decry the NYPD's "prevailing mentality of shoot first and lie about it later." The shooting occurred when Brown was struggling with two suspects in a Bedford-Stuyvesant crack house. After he shot one of them in the leg, Brown felt two shots in his back. It was Lopez, firing from a few feet away. Lopez, however, still denies shooting Brown. The NYPD initially claimed that the fatally wounded suspect had shot Brown, but a ballistics test proved the bullets came from Lopez's gun.
The police department still insists the shooting was justified, and the chief of the NYPD law department said in a statement, "The city supports the actions of the defendant police officers in this rapidly developing, split-second police encounter involving a narcotics buy-and-bust in which the defendant officers heard shots, saw the sergeant struggling with a perpetrator and thought that the sergeant’s life was in danger." Asked yesterday why he thinks Lopez shot him, Brown replied, "That’s a question I’ve been asking for 11 years now, and no one gave me a good answer."