New York City and Atlanta Hawks player Thabo Sefolosha reached a $4 million settlement Wednesday over the athlete’s police brutality lawsuit, the New York Daily News reports.
The federal lawsuit, filed in April 2016, accused five police officers of false arrest and excessive force when they took him into custody outside a Manhattan nightclub in 2015.
Officers were clearing a crime scene in which another NBA player, Chris Copeland, was stabbed in an unrelated incident. The police said Sefolosha and his then-teammate, Pero Antic, refused to follow their orders to clear the area.
In a criminal complaint, the officers accused 6-foot-7 Sefolosha of charging at one of the officers from behind. During the arrest, the athlete’s right fibula was broken when the cops knocked him to the ground. Consequently, Sefolosha missed the 2015 playoffs because of his broken leg.
Authorities charged him with resisting arrest, obstruction, and disorderly conduct.
Rather than accept a plea deal, Sefolosha chose to defend himself in court. The athlete admitted to arguing with the officers, but denied charging at any of them. The jury agreed acquitted him of all charges.
With the criminal matter behind him, the basketball player filed the civil lawsuit.
The settlement is “no admission of liability” or that Sefolosha is “blameless” in the incident, the city’s Law Department said in a statement, according to the Daily News.
It comes “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 statement continued.
SOURCE: New York Daily News