Nearly one year to the day after an early morning fracas outside a nightclub snapped and “permanent[ly]” damaged the leg of Thabo Sefolosha, the NBA veteran has filed a civil suit against New York City and the involved New York Police Department officers, according to ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz.
Sefolosha's legal team had hinted at the suit as far back as October, when it was reported that he would be seeking up to $50 million over the injuries he suffered when members of the NYPD tackled him on April 8, 2015.
The exact series of events that led to the tackle remain hazy -- and contested. Earlier that night, fellow NBA player Chris Copeland had been stabbed nearby, and the officers on hand claimed that they were simply trying to steer Sefolosha clear of the scene of the stabbing when he began to challenge the cops’ authority.
Sefolosha, of course, presents a different story -- that he was giving money to a homeless man up the block when “chaos” ensued. His right arm was “pulled,” the back of his neck “grabbed” and his leg “kicked … from the back.” He fell, leg broken, to the ground, before being arrested, taken to the police station and handcuffed to the bars.
In the subsequent trial, a Manhattan jury found him not guilty on all three counts: of misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Per Arnovitz, Sefolosha is suing for civil rights violations, excessive force and false arrest. Former teammate Pero Antic, who was also involved in the 1OAK incident, already filed suit on Monday.
Sefolosha’s attorney, Alex Spiro, was unable to comment on the matter when The Huffington Post reached out to his office Wednesday morning.
The complaint can be read below.
Justin Block contributed reporting.