Thabo Sefolosha has finally reached a settlement with the New York City Police Department over an altercation in April 2015 that left him with a broken leg.
On Wednesday, the Atlanta Hawks star settled the lawsuit for $4 million — which is a far cry from the $50 million originally sought in the case. As you may recall, the federal lawsuit, filed in April 2016, accused five police officers of false arrest and excessive force when they took him into custody outside a Manhattan nightclub. At the time of the incident, police were clearing a crime scene in which another NBA player, Chris Copeland, was stabbed in an unrelated altercation.
The officers said that Sefolosha and his then-teammate, Pero Antic, refused to follow their orders to clear the area, and in a criminal complaint, they accused the 6-foot-7 athlete of charging at one of the officers from behind. As a result of the rough handling during the arrest, Sefolosha’s right fibula was broken when the cops knocked him to the ground, causing him to miss the 2015 playoffs.
Nicholas Paolucci, a spokesperson for the New York City Law Department, said in a statement to USA Today,
“This settlement is not a concession that Mr. Sefolosha was blameless in this matter and there was no admission of liability by the defendants, but in light of the gravity of his injuries, the potential impact on his career as a professional athlete and the challenge for a jury in sorting out the facts in this incident, the resolution of the case was in the best interests of the city.”
Former Hawks player Pero Antic, who was arrested outside of 1 OAK with Sefolosha, also filed a civil suit against the NYPD that is still pending.