Police officers are sworn to serve and protect the citizens in the city or area where they work. However, certain police departments are accused more often than others of police misconduct, racial profiling, police brutality or excessive force. As of late, one such department is the New York City Police Department (NYPD). In September, NYPD officers tackled tennis star, James Blake, at full force in what ended up being a case of mistaken identity. So, when Thabo Sefolosha, a prominent National Basketball Association (NBA) player was thrown to the ground by the NYPD back in April, had his leg broken during the takedown and then was charged with resisting arrest, Sefolosha decided that he was not going to put up with it.
How and Why the Incident Occurred
The incident occurred in April of 2015 while Sefolosha was at a club with his Atlanta Hawks teammate and friend, Pero Antic. When both players stepped outside of the club, police officers arrested them. The police were reportedly called to the club because there was evidence that Sefolosha was linked to the stabbing of another NBA player and his girlfriend, which happened on the same day. What exactly happened during the arrest was unknown at the time since the police officers’ account of the incident was different than Sefolosha’s story. The NYPD claimed that Sefolosha refused to leave the scene and charged at them. Sefolosha reports that an NYPD police officer singled him out and made an aggressive, profanity laced comment towards him saying that “with or without a badge” he was going to beat him up. Then, as he was handing a homeless man $20, the police officers arrested him.
Decision to go to Trial
The NYPD charged Sefolosha with resisting arrest and suddenly the NBA star found himself facing jail time and probably having his career ended many years short. The prosecutor offered Sefolosha a plea deal wherein he would serve one day of community service and no jail time, but Sefolosha declined the offer and decided to go to trial, a decision that meant risking everything. When the trial started, however, evidence and witnesses came to surface that confirmed Sefolosha’s story of what happened on that April night. The homeless man that Sefolosha gave $20 testified on his behalf and a video surfaced that showed the officers placing him in a headlock, wrestling him to the ground and bashing his leg while he was on the ground. The evidence was more than enough for Sefolosha to win at trial and to shine a light on the reality of police brutality.
Philadelphia Police Misconduct Lawyers Fiercely Represent Victims of Police Brutality and All Civil Rights Violations
Police brutality can and does occur throughout Philadelphia and its surrounding counties more than most people understand. Experienced Philadelphia police brutality lawyer, Patrick G. Geckle, fights for victims of police misconduct, police brutality, wrongful convictions and all civil rights violations. When police officers break the law and take advantage of their position of power, Patrick G. Geckle LLC and his team of professionals hold police officers and governments accountable for their actions.
If you, a loved one or someone you know has become a victim of police misconduct, call us at 215-735-3326 or contact us online. We represent clients throughout Eastern Pennsylvania including Philadelphia County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County and Montgomery County.