In April, NBA player Thabo Sefolosha was arrested outside a Manhattan nightclub. During the encounter, his ankle was broken by police officers, effectively ending the Atlanta Hawks forward’s season and ruining his chances at a possible championship run.
Now, Sefolosha tells his side of the story during an interview with GQ.
Well-documented by video captured that night, Sefolosha is seen being violently wrestled to the ground, and can be heard calmly saying, “Relax, man.” He is then shown limping and being led away in handcuffs by officers. Later on, the cops claimed Thabo wasn’t being cooperative when he was asked to leave the scene, and he “charged” at them.
During his talk with GQ, Sefolosha said that around 4:15 am, the lights came on at 1Oak in Chelsea and an officer immediately screamed, “Get the hell out!” After telling him he didn’t have to be so abrupt, the cop responded with, “With or without a badge, I can fuck you up.”
Sefolosha tells GQ:
I felt singled out for no reason. He was much shorter than me. [Sefolosha is six feet seven.] I said, “You’re a midget, and you’re mad.” I voiced my opinion, but I kept moving.
Probably they heard what I said and decided, “We’re going to make sure this guy knows that we’re the police and that basically we rule.” They told me I had to leave the scene. They were almost provoking me, challenging me. I didn’t want to react to them.
I was just getting into a livery cab—one of the cops opened the door and said, “Get out of here”—when a homeless man asked me for money. I took out twenty bucks. When I made a few steps toward the guy, an officer said, “You’re going to jail.”
Thabo was then grabbed by his neck and arms, and kicked in the back of the leg to force him to the ground. The police allegedly also stepped on his foot to keep him from going anywhere. Once he got to the police station, he realized how swollen his leg was.
Sefolosha was acquitted Oct. 9 of resisting arrest and plans to file a suit for $50 million against the NYPD.
Read the rest of Thabo Sefolosha’s story here.
SOURCE: GQ | VIDEO SOURCE: Inform