Last year, NBA player Thabo Sefolosha was acquitted of all charges filed against him by the NYPD stemming from an altercation inside a New York City nightclub. His arrest was so violent that he actually fractured his leg–a devastating injury for a professional athlete. Now Sefolosha, a victim of a false arrest in New York City and excessive force is suing 5 of the officers involved in the false arrest.
Sefolosha claimed all along that he simply got in the way when NYPD officers responded to the stabbing of former Indiana Pacers’ forward Chris Copeland. Responding officers roughed him up and eventually wrestled him to the ground. Video evidence presented at his trial shows police officers throwing him down and pulling out at least one baton.
He was arrested for obstructing governmental administration, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest even though that same video evidence showed eyewitnesses protesting that Sefolosha hadn’t done anything. After just 45 minutes, the jury exonerated him of all charges.
The injury that he suffered during the scuffle sidelined him for the entire 2014-2015 NBA season, dramatically decreasing his earning potential and cutting into his quality of life. The details of his suit reveal he could be seeking up to $50 million in damages against the NYPD. The lawsuit Sefolosha has filed also suggests that the cops who arrested him may have been racially motivated because he was black and wearing hoodie.
While this case of false arrest in New York City involves a rather high-profile individual, average citizens enjoy the same protection under the law. If you or a loved one has suffered discrimination or unnecessary violence at the hands of the NYPD, contact an experienced New York City false arrest lawyer to discuss your case confidentially. You could be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills, lost and wages.