NEW YORK: Swiss NBA player Thabo Sefolosha will file a civil suit against New York police officers he accuses of breaking his leg during an altercation, his lawyer said on Monday (Tuesday in Manila).
His former teammate on the Atlanta Hawks, Macedonia’s Pero Antic, filed suit on Friday against four cops as well as the city of New York over the same incident, which took place outside a Manhattan nightclub last year, lawyer Alex Spiro said.
Antic is suing for damages over what he says was false arrest, unlawful imprisonment, assault, battery and civil rights violations, according to the complaint. It does not specify a monetary amount.
Spiro, who represents both players, did not say when Sefolosha’s complaint would be filed.
The incident took place in April 2015 outside a nightclub in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood.
Indiana Pacers forward Chris Copeland had been stabbed on his way out of the 1 OAK club. As police sought to clear the scene, they arrested Sefolosha, saying he was belligerent and preventing them from securing the crime scene.
The 31-year old Swiss-born player, who is black, suffered a season-ending fracture and ligament damage in his right leg and says police are to blame.
Police contest his account.
The Hawks forward required surgery and months of rest.
Sefolosha was acquitted in October last year on charges of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
The charges against Antic were also eventually dismissed.
Following Sefolosha’s trial, the city’s independent Civilian Complaint Review Board concluded that two officers had abused their power in arresting him, but did not find that they had unlawfully used physical force.