clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Thabo Sefolosha files suit against five New York police officers for April 2015 incident

In an unsurprising move, Sefolosha files his civil suit.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Atlanta Hawks forward Thabo Sefolosha has filed his civil suit against five New York City police officers, as well as the city Wednesday, according to's Kevin Arnovitz.

Sefolosha's suit involves charges of false arrest, excessive force, malicious prosecution, as well as false imprisonment, according to Arnovtiz. Arnovitz also reports that Sefolosha's notice of claim that was filed last year sets $50 million as the ceiling for what he can be compensated as far as material and punitive damages.

James C. McKinley Jr. of the New York Times provides details of the civil suit:

In the civil suit, lawyers for Sefolosha, a Swiss citizen of African heritage, said the officers had arrested him arbitrarily and violated his civil rights, in part because of his race. The complaint also accused the officers of filing a false report and lying on the witness stand to justify their actions.

All of this stems from the incident from April 8, 2015, when he was outside of a Manhattan nightclub along with then-teammate Pero Antic, when officers claimed the two were interfering with a crime scene. Police arrested Sefolosha, and suffered a broken fibula while he was being arrested.

Sefolosha was charged with resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration and disorderly conduct. A plea deal was offered, but he refused, saying that he wanted to clear his name, so the case went to trial. After just 45 minutes of deliberation, a jury acquitted Sefolosha of all charges against him.

Sefolosha has averaged 6.6 points and 4.5 rebounds per game in 71 contests for the Hawks. His defensive presence was missed in last year's playoffs, and he has been an anchor for them on that end of the floor this year.