New York Police Department (NYPD) Sergeant David Grieco, also known as “Bullethead,” has reached a milestone as police misconduct lawsuits naming him as a defendant have exceeded $1 million in settlement payouts. Grieco has been named in at least two additional suits since the initial reports, bringing the total payouts in complaints naming him to $1,099,825. Despite being named in 48 suits alleging police misconduct over a span of 13 years, Grieco has been promoted twice, first to detective in 2016 and then to sergeant in 2017.
The NYPD’s officer profile database, which was launched in 2021, does not list any disciplinary history for Grieco. This has raised concerns about the department’s definition of misconduct and its commitment to transparency. The database only includes certain findings against officers, such as charges and corresponding penalties resulting from pleas of guilt, nolo contendere, or a guilty finding after trial. Allegations of misconduct that are substantiated and result in “Schedule C” discipline by commanding officers are also listed.
The NYPD spokesperson stated that many of the settled suits reflect older cases and do not represent the department’s current character. They pointed to a 20% drop in misconduct allegations from 2020 to 2022 and a 50% decrease compared to 2013. However, the spokesperson did not address why disciplinary information for officers repeatedly named in lawsuits is not listed in the portal.
Among the ten NYPD officers most named in civil suits since 2013, facing a collective 245 suits with total payouts of over $7 million, only Lieutenant Henry Daverin has any disciplinary history listed in his department profile. Daverin has 16 allegations but no charges.
The issue of officers with multiple misconduct allegations and the resulting financial burden on the city has raised questions about accountability and the message being sent by allowing such officers to continue serving. Grieco and the other officers named in numerous suits have cost the city hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars in civil lawsuit settlements.