Thabo Sefolosha files lawsuit against New York City over arrest in 2015

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Atlanta Hawks swingman Thabo Sefolosha is taking legal action against New York City after an incident outside a nightclub last year that left him with a broken leg and caused him to miss the rest of the season, including the playoffs.

The 31-year-old filed a lawsuit on Wednesday, stating that he was unfairly arrested outside of 1Oak nightclub in the Manhattan district in April 2015.

Prosecutors claim Sefolosha had disobeyed officers' orders on a number of occasions after they told him to leave the area surrounding the club where fellow NBA player Chris Copeland was stabbed.

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In his lawsuit, Sefolosha says he called a police officer a 'midget' before being forced to the ground and arrested. During his testimony at his trial, the former Oklahoma City Thunder man said he had moved away from the block after being told to do so by a confrontational officer.

He says he was trying to give a street beggar $20 before he was taken to the ground by officers. It was then that the Swiss national says they 'attacked and jumped' on him with one officer using a baton to strike him.

He was acquitted of misdemeanor criminal charges in October 2015 but claims the incident left him with a broken leg that caused him to miss the offseason as the Atlanta Hawks made it to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Sefolosha is seeking unspecified damages from the city of New York and five officers, and claims in his lawsuit, that was filed in federal court in Manhattan, that officers had no grounds to arrest him and filed a false claim.

Pero Antic, who was with the Hawks from 2013 to 2015, was also arrested in the fracas and he filed a lawsuit against the city and police department last week also alleging false arrest. Original charges against him were dropped.

Sefolosha's final game of the 2014-15 season came in a 96-69 win over the Phoenix Suns where he scored two points on 1-4 field goal shooting in his 19 minutes of action. Throughout the season, he averaged 5.3 points and 4.3 rebounds in 18 minutes per night.

The European, who has been in the NBA for 10 years since he was drafted by Philadelphia 76ers in 2006, returned to the hardwood at the start of the current campaign.

He has played 71 games throughout the season and is producing 6.6 points and 4.5 rebounds in his 23 minutes of action a night.

The Hawks clinched a playoff spot for the ninth consecutive season at the back end of March and, barring any injury issues, Sefolosha will get his chance to represent the franchise in the postseason once it kicks off on April 16.

Jeff Teague
Atlanta Hawks
Southeast Division
Eastern Conference
Thabo Sefolosha
Central Division

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