Thabo Sefolosha has received $4 million from the city of New York for dropping his April 2016 police brutality lawsuit against five NYPD officers who arrested him and broke his leg during the early morning hours of April 8, 2015, causing him to miss the rest of that year’s NBA season.
Sefolosha had been at the nightclub and was leaving after former New York Knick Chris Copeland and his wife were stabbed outside…and was arrested for resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and obstruction of governmental administration, for allegedly interfering with the set up a crime scene outside of 1Oak nightclub in Chelsea, New York the previous April. He was arrested alongside teammate Pero Antić for allegedly trying to prevent police from setting up a crime scene after Copeland his wife’s stabbing. In October 2015 he was acquitted of all charges by a jury.
In April 2015 Sefolosha blamed five officers from the New York Police Department for breaking his leg after they grabbed him by the neck and forced him to the ground and arrested him.
‘This settlement is not a concession that Mr. Sefolosha was blameless in this matter and there was no admission of liability by the defendants,’ the city Law Department said in a statement. But in light of the gravity of his injuries, the potential impact on his career as a professional athlete and the challenge for a jury in sorting out the facts in this incident, the resolution of the case was in the best interests of the City.’
The Atlanta Hawks player made the statement through his club’s Twitter account, saying that his injury had left him in ‘great pain’ and ‘was caused by the police’. Sefolosha was left with a broken right fibula and torn ligaments, and as unable to play any of the matches left in the 2015 NBA season. What happened to the cops? They were merely suspended from work.
A video obtained and shared by TMZ showed officers surrounding Sefolosha as he was pushed to the ground, and Antic being led away from the scene in handcuffs. The NYPD launched an internal investigation into the arrest after it was claimed the officers used excessive force when overpowering the player.
The arrests happened as police were trying to investigate the stabbing of Indiana Pacers star Chris Copeland. Copeland, a former player for the New York Knicks, was slashed in the elbow and abdomen. Shezoy Bleary, 22, has been accused of attacking the 31-year-old and two women with a switchblade. It was reported that Bleary was seen leaving New York City’s 10th police precinct on his way to court just as Copeland was undergoing surgery for his injuries. An argument in the early hours outside the 1 OAK nightclub had escalated into violence at around 4am. Copeland’s wife Katrine Saltara, 28, was also stabbed during the early-morning altercation.
Copeland and Saltara were reportedly arguing on the street as the attacker eavesdropped and then started to interfere. When Copeland told the man to back off, the suspect allegedly pulled out a switchblade and plunged it into the athlete’s abdomen and elbow. ‘They were engaged in a verbal dispute in front of the location,’ said Officer Sophia Mason, an NYPD spokeswoman. ‘The males engaged in a confrontation, and that’s when the 22-year-old male stabbed the 31-year-old male,’ Mason said. He then turned on Saltara, stabbing her in the breast, buttocks and arm, sources told the New York Post.
Another woman, Catherine Somani, 23, was also stabbed in the abdomen as she apparently tried to break up the fight, WABC reported. She was believed to be the suspect’s girlfriend. Copeland and his wife were both taken to Bellevue Hospital for treatment, while Somani was rushed to Lenox Hill Hospital. ‘We are aware that Chris Copeland was injured early in New York City,’ Indiana Pacers President Larry Bird said in a statement to DailyMail.com on April 8, 2015.
Copeland, who is from New Jersey, was supposed to play his former team, the New York Knicks, at Madison Square Garden later that same day that he was stabbed. He previously played 56 games for the team in his 2012–2013 rookie season. Both Pacers and Knicks fans flocked to social media to wish him a speedy recovery the day of the incident.
That’s it. $ 4 million, and the NBA star shuts his mouth and sits quietly, while police continues to do, whatever they want. Sad.