Following the arrest of Thabo Sefolosha from the Atlanta Hawks team last year, the NBA player is suing New York City for $50 million, as well as five police officers, on the count of false arrest. A bold move from the Atlanta Hawks player to file a federal lawsuit against NY, yet Sefolosha’s case may be capable of standing strong in court.
Atlanta Hawks’ forward star Sefolosha is set to be rewarded $50 million in material damages as well as physical distress. The lawsuit came as a response to an incident happened last year, when Sefolosha was arrested outside a nightclub in Manhattan when he was close to a crime scene, totally unrelated to the Hawks’ forward. Sefolosha was arrested alongside his teammate Pero Antic, which also filed a lawsuit on his own against the five arresting officers from that night on April 2015.
Although the incident occurred on 2015 where another NBA player was stabbed didn’t have anything to do with Sefolosha, NY officers claim he was interfering with the crime scene. But the player for the Atlanta Hawks has a different version of the events occurred that night, on April 8, 2015.
Sefolosha claims in the lawsuit filed on Wednesday that he was thrown in the ground aggressively after the NBA player was already walking away from the crime scene. The forward for Atlanta blames his injury to the officers who arrested him without sufficient reason, which made him miss the 2015 NBA playoffs.
All odds favoring Sefolosha and Antic
The NY police officers attacked and jumped on the players as one started hitting him with a baton, which resulted broken after he was taken into custody, said Sefolosha in the lawsuit. This would certainly not be the first time people claims abusive force by police officers in the United States, yet the officers who arrested Sefolosha state the player was obstructing the crime scene and later resisted arrest.
Yet, odds are in favor of the NBA veteran Sefolosha, given that the player is accusing the NY officers on the charges of false arrest, false imprisonment and abusive force. And considering he’s able to demonstrate he got a broken leg following his ‘false’ arrest, the court may find that to be sufficient evidence of excessive force.
What’s more, Sefolosha could be in for a treat due to its victory in front of a jury in Manhattan, where he was found not guilty of all charges late last year. Atlanta Hawks player Pero Antic was also found not guilty after the Manhattan jury concluded the session.