In arresting Thabo Sefolosha near a crime scene in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York two years ago — the Hawks’ wing was eventually found not guilty of those charges — the NYPD broke Sefolosha’s leg. He missed the Hawks playoff run that season and spent a lot of time in rehab before returning to the court. Sefolosha sued the NYPD over the incident and this week settled the case for $4 million (a sum that shocked a few people).
Friday, Sefolosha released a statement about the settlement and what he planned to do with the money.
“It is an extremely gratifying feeling to know that justice has been served and that now, finally, I can truly put this behind me. To fight for what is right and be fully exonerated and vindicated is both satisfying and very humbling.
“We are all aware that there are still too many cases of police brutality today. So many of these cases go unnoticed or unreported; so many victims do not have the means to fight for justice as I could. It’s unfair.
“While I alone can’t bring the type of change needed to eliminate these issues, I want to help make a difference. A substantial portion of my settlement will be donated to Gideon’s Promise, an Atlanta-based nonprofit that helps support and train public defenders across the country.”
Good on Sefolosha for picking a cause to help people who were in his shoes but lacked his resources to defend himself through the legal system.
He also says he wants to put the incident behind him now.