NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Attorneys have filed a lawsuit seeking damages from a man who threatened violence and racially taunted an Asian-American NYPD detective.
The complaint charges that Terrell Harper used anti-Asian slurs, chanted "soy sauce," and even threatened Detective Vincent Chung's mother on March 11.
"I mean looking at the video, that type of hate directed at myself as an Asian American is just disgusting," Chung said. "I was surprised that an organization or demonstration protesting for racial justice and equality suddenly turned to an Anti-Asian beratement for over 15 minutes."
The lawsuit filed on behalf of the Fifth Precinct detective seeks monetary damages from the defendant, who at the time of the incident was involved in a lawful public demonstration.
"Considering the increase in violence throughout the city against Asian-Americans, we must put racists on notice," Detectives Endowment Association President Paul DiGiacomo said. "And we have to salute this detective for showing great restraint."
Chung, a 16-year veteran of the force, says it is time something is done to stop these type of people."
"I appreciate the Detectives Endowment Association and Asian Jade Society for backing me up and coming forward to really bring this to the front and show our elected officials that if they're not going to do anything about it, the union will," Chung said.
The suit also seeks to force Harper to explain publicly why he singled out an Asian-American as his target.
"And if the threat of getting arrested isn't enough to these individuals spewing such hate, well then maybe getting hit in the pocketbook and having monetary damages against them will be," DEA Counsel James Moschella said.
There is an active warrant for Harper's arrest.
"Hate affects every citizen, even if you're in uniform," DiGiacomo said. "This lawsuit we hope will tell the racists that there is a price to pay."
The Detectives Endowment Association represents 5,000 active and more than 12,000 retired NYPD detectives and is a member of the New York City Law Enforcement Union Coalition, whose member organizations also represent New York City police officers of all ranks.
"This soon to be civil case defendant sought to demean this brave detective on the basis of the color of his skin, as an Asian-American," DiGiacomo said. "Frankly, if the politicians won't take appropriate and innovative actions to stem hate speech and protect our officers, we must."
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