Two Atlanta Hawks players are suing NYPD for damages pegged at up to a combined $75,000,000 for a single false arrest outside a New York nightclub last year.
It all started when one player tried to hand $20 to a homeless person after police closed the nightclub down at 4:15am.
And the NYPD beat up that player.
It knocked him out for the season too.
Hawks starting Small Foward Thabo Sefolosia, missed the end of the season and his NBA team’s run to the Eastern Conference Finals after police broke his fibula and tore ligaments in his ankle too.
“The NYPD has all but conceded that they falsely and improperly arrested Pero Antic.”
“They will now be held responsible.”
But the multi-millionaire Swiss NBA player wasn’t going to be bullied by New York’s boys in blue, any more than he would let the New York Knicks try to beat him up on the court and then cry foul to the NBA’s league office that he was at fault.
So Sefolosia went to court and cleared his name, rather than taking a plea deal of a single day of community service and admitting guilt, for having his ankle broken by the police.
About 4:15 A.M., they turned the lights on at the club and told us it’s time to go. Something happened, we’re not exactly sure what. The police are outside closing the place down—directing people, telling them to move.
An officer came over to me and said, “Get the hell out!” I said, “Did I do something wrong? You can talk to me in a nicer way.” I didn’t quite understand why he had to come at us so hard when there were so many other people around. We moved, but he kept telling us to get the hell out.
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.” Pero tapped the officer on the shoulder and said, “Relax, he didn’t do anything.” Another officer pushed him in the chest and he fell. That’s what the first YouTube video showed—him on the floor.
More officers started grabbing me. I was trying to put the money back in my pocket. Usually I don’t carry that much, but I had six or seven hundred dollars in my hand. One officer pulled me from my right arm, another grabbed me on my left, and another grabbed me on the back of my neck. I’m in, like, an on-a-cross type of position. I couldn’t even move. It was just chaos. I had never been arrested before. I understood a little bit late that they were trying to put me on the ground, but if somebody grabs your arms and pulls you on your neck, you fall face first.
Somebody kicked my leg, more than once, from the back to force me to the ground. I knew something had happened as soon as they did it; I’m an athlete, so I know how my body should feel. They were stepping on my foot, too, I guess to try to keep me there. I didn’t feel like there was anything I could do to calm it down. I tried to show them I was cooperating. I tried.
Do these guys still have the right to call themselves New York’s Finest?