Jon Jordan, News 9
NORMAN, Oklahoma -- After a nearly three-year-long battle, a former Norman police officer accused of using excessive force won his court fight and walked away with more than $170,000.
Despite the district attorney's opinion that John Terry's actions in 2008 were justified, there were some in the Norman police department and in city hall who disagreed, leaving the veteran police officer in the fight of his life.
It was a routine call on July 26, 2008 that would turn officer Terry's world upside down. It was a day Terry would glad do over again if he could.
"My actions that day were to protect the safety of others which is why I did what I did," he said.
Terry ended up shooting and nearly killing Sang Nguyen as he held on to his car while Nguyen tried desperately to get away. The shooting was determined to be an excessive use of force and, shortly after, the 13-year veteran found himself without a job.
Terry's firing sparked a nearly three-year-long court fight with the City of Norman, a city he'd spent 13 years protecting.
"Personally, I knew that what I had done was acceptable and within policy, federal law, and state law and well within the training that I had received," Terry said.
The Oklahoma State Supreme Court agreed with Terry and ordered the City of Norman to reinstate Terry. As a way of settling with the city, however, Terry agreed to relinquish his job in return for $170,000.
Terry has a new career, but spent the past three years unsure of his future, doing odd jobs. After the uncertainty of it all, he said he is in a much better place.
"Through this entire situation, my family and I have been blessed and this situation happened for a reason and we are much better off because of it," Terry said.