A Manhattan judge on Monday tossed a lawsuit brought by an Asian NYPD detective against a man who spewed racist slurs at him — saying while the tirade was “obscene,” it counts as constitutionally protected free speech.
Det. Vincent Cheung brought the complaint, then believed to be the first of its kind, against Terrell Harper, who was caught in a 10-minute video calling Cheung a “goddamn cat eater” and asking if he was “going to Judo chop him.”
“The video speaks volume,” Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Shlomo Hagler said during a virtual hearing Monday of the March 11, 2021 incident. “The obscenities, the diatribes, the hateful and obscene words were said, there is no doubt to that.”
“Such conduct should be condemned and has no place in a civil society,” Hagler continued.
But in dismissing Cheung’s suit, the jurist acknowledged that the US Supreme Court has held that even hate speech is free speech protected under the First Amendment.