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Friday 10 April 2015

How it went down for Thabo: NYPD chokeslam, broken leg, plain sight perpwalk show -- American dream glass half full?


Atlanta Hawks forward Thabo Sefolosha being led out for perp walk after suffering fractured fibula during arrest by NYPD. Sefolosha will miss the rest of the season: photo by Keystone/AP/Craig Ruttle/AP via 20 Minuten Sport, 9 April 2015

Hawks' Thabo Sefolosha is out for the season with a broken leg following nightcub arrest: Des Bieler, Washington Post, 9 April 2015

Atlanta’s Thabo Sefolosha literally added a major injury to the insult of being photographed doing a “perp walk” following his arrest Wednesday morning. Sometime during a confrontation with police outside of a New York nightclub, the Hawks swingman suffered a broken leg, ending his season.

Sefolosha and teammate Pero Antic were arrested for obstructing a crime scene, after an incident in which the Pacers’ Chris Copeland was stabbed and two other people were wounded. Copeland is in stable condition after surgery on his abdomen and left elbow.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a police report indicates that the 30-year-old Sefolosha came at police in an “aggressive manner.” From the AJC:

Police officer Johnpaul Giancona wrote: “When I approached the defendant to place him under arrest for the above described conduct, I observed the defendant flail his arms, twist his body, kick his legs, and struggle against me making it difficult for me to place handcuffs on him and complete the arrest. It took four officers to place the defendant in handcuffs.”
Later on Wednesday, Sefolosha and Antic, who were charged with three misdemeanors altogether, issued this joint statement:

“As members of the Atlanta Hawks, we hold ourselves to a high standard and take our roles as professionals very seriously. We will contest these charges and look forward to communicating the facts of the situation at the appropriate time. We apologize to our respective families, teammates, and the Hawks organization for any negative attention this incident has brought upon them. We are unable to provide further comment as this is an ongoing legal matter.”
Thursday evening, the NBA released a statement saying that Sefolosha had a “fractured fibula and ligament damage that will require surgery” on his right leg. His loss is a blow to the Hawks, as the first-place team eyes a lengthy playoff run.

Atlanta’s Thabo Sefolosha, 30, was limping and had a wrap around his right ankle as he was escorted out of the 10th Precinct of the New York Police Department on Wednesday: photo by Andrew Kelly/Reuters via Washignton Post, 9 April 2015

Atlanta Hawks' Thabo Sefolosha suffered fractured leg during arrest: Will need surgery after incident: Associated Press in Atlanta via the Guardian, 9 April 2015

Atlanta forward Thabo Sefolosha will miss the Hawks’ final four regular-season games and the post-season because of a fractured right fibula and ligament damage suffered when he and teammate Pero Antic were arrested early on Wednesday in New York.

The Hawks confirmed Sefolosha’s injury Thursday and said he will need surgery. The Swiss player was limping following the arrest. TMZ later released cell phone footage of Sefolosha being thrown to the ground during the arrest.

Sefolosha’s attorney, Alex Spiro, said on Wednesday the forward was injured during the arrest, which followed the stabbings of Indiana Pacers forward Chris Copeland, his girlfriend and another woman on the street near a Manhattan nightclub.

Sefolosha and Antic were released without bail after they were charged with obstructing governmental authority and disorderly conduct. Spiro said the two did not commit a crime and he expects the charges to be dismissed.

Thabo Sefolosha will not play again this season due to his injuries: photo by Brandon Dill/AP via The Guardian, 10 April 2015

How it went down for Thabo: 6 Cops Slamming Thabo Sebolosha to Ground & Breaking His Leg (Video): Robert Littal, Black Sports Online, 9 April 2015

The reason Thabo Sefolosha broke his leg is because 6 cops basically chokeslammed him to the ground as you can see in the video.

This appears to be excessive, but looking at the situation glass half full at least he didn’t get shot or choked to death.

Thabo’s teammate Pero Antic was already cuffed on the ground when Thabo who doesn’t seem to be making an aggressive move gets rushed by the 6 cops. One cop puts his hands around his throat while the rest help wrestle him to the ground. Even though the person taking the video is French you can clearly hear people saying it is messed up what the cops are doing. I agree.

Thabo Sefolosha Chokeslam

Thabo Sefolosha arrest and chokeslam by NYPD: screenshot by TMZ via Black Sports Online, 9 April 2015

From South Africa to America for Love: Thabo Sefolosha interviewed by Jorge Sierra, HoopsHype, 2 January 2006

You were born in Switzerland, but your parents are from South Africa. Why did they leave the county?

Thabo Sefolosha: Only my father is from South Africa. He is black and my mother is white. And, you know, it was hard for them to stay together there during the apartheid. So they decided to move to Switzerland for that reason.

Have you ever been to South Africa?
TS: Yes, I've been there. Most of my family still lives there.

Do you like the country?
TS: Yeah, I love it. I love it.

How did you get into basketball? Basketball is not that popular in Switzerland...
TS: There was a neighbor near my house that played basketball. We started playing with him, me and my brother. We tried to play that game, too. We started playing then and we've been playing ever since.

When did you realize you wanted to play basketball for a living?
TS: I fell in love with basketball fast. It was early. That's the thing I like to do the most and wanted to live doing that.
Weren't you interested in becoming an artist like your parents?
TS: I was not interested in that. I was more into sports, you know. 

Sefolosha out for season with broken fibula (updated)

Atlanta Hawks’ Thabo Sefolosha (25) reacts to his 3-point basket against the Milwaukee Bucks in the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, March 30, 2015, in Atlanta. Atlanta won 101-88: photo by Dave Tulis/AP via Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 9 April 2015

Thabo Sefololosha: Coming to America (2006)
... last year he opted to place a unique tattoo on one of his arms that simply states, “The game chose me.”

“I don’t believe I really chose to play basketball,” Thabo says philosophically while looking down at his distinctive body art. “I simply ended up playing the game after it chose me.
“Neither of my parents played basketball or are very athletic. So I can’t explain how I got my [basketball] talent. I guess I discovered it on my own after I fell in love with the game as a kid.
“My mama told me that the most important thing in life is to find something you love, and then give it everything you’ve got. I’ve found that with basketball. So I guess you can say that my parents -- especially my mother -- gave me the passion that I play with.”

 #Basket #NBA #Sefolosha [r.] fermo Caviglia ko nell'arresto.
NEW YORK – Oltre al danno, la beffa. Thabo Sefolosha, arrestato martedì notte per intralcio alla giustizia in un locale di New York, si è rotto la caviglia nel corso del fermo da parte della polizia. Lo svizzero ex Biella rischia così di aver finito in anticipo la stagione con gli Atlanta Hawks leader ad est, una stagione in cui la squadra di Budenholzer -– grazie anche all'apporto difensivo di Sefolosha -- è una candidata al titolo: image via Tuttosport @tuttosport, 10 April 2015

Thabo has one other tattoo that says, “God guides my steps,” which he also got last season. “Those are two things that are very important in my life: basketball and God,” he adds.
Whether it was a case of destiny, fate or simply good fortune, Thabo Sefolosha understands that he’s about to begin living his dream.
“Coming from a place like Switzerland, you really can’t imagine yourself ever being here,” he says. “As a kid, you play [the game] outside with your friends, and you might say ‘I’m Michael Jordan,’ but you never really believe that someday you’re going to actually be a part of something like this... But, now that I’m here on this court,” he says, looking up at the six Bulls Championship banners hanging from the Berto Center walls, “it’s special, something really special.”

Thabo Sefololosha: from Coming to America, via Chicago Bulls, 2006

Thabo Sefolosha guards LeBron James: photo by EDrost88, 15 November 2014


TC said...

Thabo Sefolosha: Video of Brutal Clash with Cops... Headlocked & Taken Down (9 April 2015)

"Jesus Whitey... bullshit, bullshit..." "Oh my God..." -- and one hard pop.

Nightstick on bone?

"Encule le flic"

Public Reaction to Thabo Sefolosha Leg Fracture Suffered at Hands of NYPD

Mose23 said...

It makes me think of the phrase that did the rounds over here through the eighties, "Innocent until proven Irish".

I have no words for the idiot boy.

TC said...

A second video of the arrest incident now comes out. At c. twenty seconds in, you can see the punk cop swing his baton, and there's that pop, and Sefolosha is down,... and then is led away, limping.

Second Sefolosha video -- the nightstick blow that breaks his leg

I once fell on some anti-vehicle spikes, crossing a parking lot on foot. One of the spikes went into my leg. Compound fracture of the fibula. It's not an injury you'd want to have.

That kid doing the "video analysis" shows how seriously routine police brutality is taken in this country.

Of course I don't know Sefolosha personally. The family history -- father a South African musician, mother a Swiss artist, the parents having left Pretoria due to harassment as a mixed couple under apartheid -- would, one supposes, affect Sefolosha's understanding of life and the world, somewhat.

He and his wife have contributed significantly to charitable causes in South Africa. At one event, they raised $70,000 for this purpose, and added to that another $30,000 of their own money.

TC said...

In case anyone's interested, new witness and video evidence helps clarify what happened.

The violence occurs a block away from the nightclub.

Sefolosha has said the police followed him down the block, and that he made so bold as to ask why.

That's a no-no. They're cops. He's a black man in a hoodie.

Sefolosha is heard on the available videos to say to police, "Just relax" and "Calm down".

The cops however do just the opposite, pushing and pulling him in opposite directions.

The new video shows the rogue cop with the nightstick breaking Thabo's leg at 0:18.

Sefolosha beating by NYPD

The new American Dream is a nightmare.

TC said...

(By the by, Thabo has now had surgery, is experiencing "significant pain," and is not expected to be able to work at his livelihood again for at least six months, if ever.)