Atlanta Hawks forward Thabo Sefolosha has filed a $50 million suit against the city of New York and five New York City police officers claiming charges of false arrest, excessive force, malicious prosecution and false imprisonment during a 2015 incident in which he suffered a broken leg.
According to ESPN, Sefolosha and Hawks teammate Pero Antic were leaving a Manhattan nightclub April 8, 2015, when they were arrested after police claimed they interfered in a crime scene during which Indiana Pacers forward Chris Copeland, who was not with Sefolosha or Antic, was stabbed.
Sefolosha and Antic have maintained that they were outside the club looking on, like several other bystanders, when officers began harassing them. During the arrest, Sefolosha suffered a broken fibula and torn ankle ligaments, Yahoo! reports. He missed the remainder of the regular season and the Hawks’ playoff run to the conference finals.
Police dropped charges against Antic, who also filed a $25 million suit against police officers and the city. Sefolosha chose to go to court to clear his name, and he was acquitted by a jury in October of misdemeanor charges of obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, ESPN reports.
Sefolosha decided to proceed with the suit, claiming that his reputation and “image have been damaged by the incident, and that his value as a professional basketball player has been adversely affected,” ESPN reports.