Fired Norman Police Officer Seeks Job, Justice
NORMAN, Oklahoma -- He has most of his fellow officers on his side. He has the arbitrator on his side. But fired Norman police officer John Terry still doesn't have his job back.
And now Terry is taking new steps to get back on the force. He lays tile by day, delivers doughnuts at night, and sometimes substitute teaches. He has applied for other, better paying jobs. But he says his commitment to a law enforcement career turns potential employers away.
"Everyone is hesitant to hire me because the chance that I would be reinstated and I wouldn't be with the company very long," Terry said.
A 10-year veteran of the force, Terry was fired after he shot and wounded a naked man who was trying to run over him at a Norman apartment complex. An arbitrator ordered Terry reinstated, but the city of Norman believes the decision was flawed and has appealed.
While the appeal continues, Terry says it's a struggle to keep his family afloat financially.
"We have had to borrow three months of our mortgage," Terry said. "Our mortgage company is refusing to work with us right now. It has been extremely difficult."
Over his lunch hour, Terry visited the police department and the city manager's office. He was delivering formal complaints against police and city officials.
"It is to hold the administration accountable for their actions for what they've done wrong and for violating their own policy," Terry said.
Terry says there's been enough damage done already.
"They have damaged my reputation, my ability to continue my career in law enforcement," Terry said. "They have hurt my family both financially and emotionally."
For John Terry, this is a fight to the finish.
The Norman Police Department referred all comments to their City Attorney. A City Attorney says the city's position is spelled out in its court filings. The next court hearing is set for October 8.
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