(SL) – Atlanta Hawks forward Thabo Sefolosha is settling his civil lawsuit against five New York City police officers following a violent arrest in April of 2015 that resulted with Thabo suffering from season ending injuries.
On April 7th, 2015, Thabo and former Hawks player Pero Antic were arrested outside of 1 OAK following an altercation that Sefolosha and Antic had nothing to do with it.
Sefolosha was standing outside the nightclub 1 OAK while police investigated the stabbing of Indiana Pacers forward Chris Copeland. At the time, Sefolosha and teammate Pero Antic were waiting for a driver to pick them up. Sefolosha’s attorney, Alex Spiro argued that because Sefolosha was “a large black man wearing a hoodie” who happened to be standing nearby, police officers began to provoke him. Sefolosha and the officers then began to argue, during which time Sefolosha called a 5′ 6″ officer a “midget.” The argument would only escalate and officers arrested Sefolosha for obstructing the administration of government and resisting arrest.
During the arrest, he sustained a broken fibula and severe ligament damage to his ankle. The injuries cost Sefolosha the final five games of the regular season and 16 playoff games, as the Hawks advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Sefolosha faced three misdemeanor counts of disobeying orders to move from a crime scene and resisting arrest. He declined to plea bargain and was acquitted of all charges.
Sefolosha filed a civil suit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York claiming the officers caused permanent physical injuries and damaged his reputation.
It’s being reported that he settled for $4 million dollars. Antic also filed a civil lawsuit, and his case is still pending.