Thabo Sefolosha issued a statement regarding the recent settlement of his civil lawsuit against officers of the New York City Police Department. The Hawks player said he donated a “substantial portion” of the settlement to Gideon’s Promise, an Atlanta-based non-profit that helps support public defenders nationwide.
The complete statement reads as follows:
“I would like to thank my family and friends, Coach Bud (Mike Budenholzer) and the entire Atlanta Hawks organization, the NBA and the NBA Players Association, my agents Guy Zucker and Herman Manakyan, and my attorney throughout this process, Alex Spiro. The support that I received over the past two years from each was invaluable and something that I will never forget.
“It is an extremely gratifying feeling to know that justice has been served and that now, finally, I can truly put this behind me. To fight for what is right and be fully exonerated and vindicated is both satisfying and very humbling.
“We are all aware that there are still too many cases of police brutality today. So many of these cases go unnoticed or unreported; so many victims do not have the means to fight for justice as I could. It’s unfair.
“While I alone can’t bring the type of change needed to eliminate these issues, I want to help make a difference. A substantial portion of my settlement will be donated to Gideon’s Promise, an Atlanta-based nonprofit that helps support and train public defenders across the country.
“On their website, it reads ‘We are the voice for the voiceless’. I hope my donation can help give many more people a voice to fight for justice as I did.”
Sefolosha’s settlement with the NYPD was $4 million. Sefolosha filed the civil lawsuit against five officers last year for injuries suffered during an arrest in 2015 outside a city nightclub. Sefolosha was acquitted of three charges brought against him the following year.
Sefolosha suffered a broken right leg and ligament damage to his ankle during his arrest in the early morning hours of April 7, 2015 outside the night club 1Oak. He missed the rest of the regular season and playoffs as the Hawks advanced to the Eastern Conference finals following season-ending surgery. Sefolosha faced three misdemeanor counts, alleging that he disobeyed orders to move away from a crime scene and then resisted arrest. After declining a plea bargain, Sefolosha was acquitted of all the charges in a weeklong trial in October of 2016.
Sefolosha and Spiro acknowledged the settlement earlier this week.