Sefolosha settles civil lawsuit with New York City police


Thabo Sefolosha has settled his civil lawsuit against five members of the New York City Police Department, the Hawks player and his attorney confirmed Wednesday. Sefolosha filed the lawsuit last year following injuries sustained during his arrest and subsequent acquittal in a criminal trial in 2015.

News of the settlement was first reported by TMZ Sports. Terms of the settlement are confidential and the case was dismissed as a result of the agreement.

“I’m glad this matter is resolved,” Sefolosha’s attorney Alex Spiro told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday.

Former Hawks player Pero Antic, who was arrested with Sefolosha in April 2015, also filed a civil lawsuit against the five police officers involved in the arrest. Antic also is represented by Spiro, and that case is still pending, according to the attorney.

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 nightclub 1Oak in New York. 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.

Sefolosha filed a notice of claim with the New York City comptroller of his intention to file a $50 million civil suit. In a television interview stating his intention to bring action, Sefolosha said “There is a lot of unknown about how this will affect me two years from now, five years from now, 10 years from now. Also because I think it’s the right approach to put lights on a situation like this and be able to fight back in a legal way and in a way that can empower, hopefully.”

The settlement brings to a close and vindication to the long chapter of Sefolosha’s career. He spoke out against instances of the use of excessive force by police that have caused national outrage and protest. Speaking before the start of the season, Sefolosha said he felt lucky to be alive after the incident.

“To be honest, looking at some of the footage that we see from Tulsa and Charlotte, I feel lucky to be here and to talk about what happened to me,” Sefolosha said in September. “To be honest, it could have went many different ways. I think I’m lucky to be able to speak about it.

“It’s been going on for years now. It’s a touchy subject but it needs to be addressed. It’s a necessary conversation and hopefully it can happen without violence in all the demonstrations going on.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Atlanta Hawks

Howard hopes to shut mouths after ‘mess’ of last few seasons
Howard hopes to shut mouths after ‘mess’ of last few seasons

Dwight Howard referred to his last several NBA seasons as a “mess” several times in a recent interview. That includes last year playing for his hometown Hawks. Howard was traded to the Hornets earlier this summer. In praise of a reunion with Hornets coach Steve Clifford, who was an assistant with the Magic when Howard entered the NBA as...
Hawks land jersey sponsorship deal with Sharecare
Hawks land jersey sponsorship deal with Sharecare

For the first time, the Hawks will wear an advertising patch on their uniforms, beginning with the 2017-18 season.  The Hawks and Atlanta-based digital health company Sharecare have reached agreement on a five-year deal that will put the Sharecare logo on the front left shoulder of the players’ game jerseys, team and company executives told...
Early glimpse of Hawks’ Nike uniforms
Early glimpse of Hawks’ Nike uniforms

The apparel partnership between the NBA and Nike begins this season, and teams have been releasing what their new-look uniforms this week. The Hawks have not yet released pictures of their uniforms. However, the gray uniform was revealed in a photo shoot of the rookie class taken by the NBA on Friday. Rookies John Collins and Tyler Dorsey represented...
Reeling Dream fall to Lynx as second-half comeback falls short
Reeling Dream fall to Lynx as second-half comeback falls short

The slumping Dream haven’t played “big time basketball.” Losers of four in a row and seven of nine, the last team the Dream probably wanted to see was the 20-3 Minnesota Lynx. The Lynx proved why it’s the best team in the WNBA, extinguishing a second-half rally and defeating Atlanta 81-72 at McCamish Pavilion Tuesday. The Dream...
Hawks waive Diamond Stone
Hawks waive Diamond Stone

The Hawks waived Diamond Stone on Monday in a move that came just weeks after the team acquired the center in a three-way trade with the Clippers and Nuggets earlier this month. Stone, 6-foot-11, 260 pounds, played in four games for the Hawks’ entry in the Las Vegas Summer League this month after the trade. He averaged 9.0 points and 3.5 rebounds...
More Stories