Thabo Sefolosha suing New York, police


Hawks wing Thabo Sefolosha said he wants to put his not-guilty verdict behind him.

Ahead of him: A civil suit.

Rebecca Rosenberg and Julia Marsh of the New York Post:

The NBA player who beat criminal charges of resisting arrest in a melee outside a Manhattan nightclub plans to sue the city and eight cops for up to $50 million over what he claims are “permanent” injuries, even though he’s back on the court — and dunking.

Thabo Sefolosha of the Atlanta Hawks says in a legal notice that the broken leg he suffered when cops pushed him to the ground outside celebrity hot spot 1Oak last April caused him to “become substantially disabled.”

The physical “damages are permanent in nature and continuing into the future,” according to the notice of claim filed with the city’s comptroller.

It’s not hard to watch video of multiple cops dragging Sefolosha in different directions, one thwacking him with a nightstick, and see wrongdoing:

But it will be difficult for Sefolosha to prove his claim that his injury is permanent. These Hawks tweets don’t help:

That second one could play into Sefolosha’s legal strategy, though. Just because Sefolosha is playing well doesn’t mean he wouldn’t have played better if the police hadn’t hurt him. When it comes to that basketball-specific argument, the players union could really help him.

Sefolosha cares about seeing justice. That’s why he went to trial despite a plea offer that contained minimal punishment.

This lawsuit should draw more attention to a police department that has a poor record in its treatment of minorities. Win or lose, Sefolosha is shining light on an important issue that extends well beyond him.