The Internal Affairs bureau of the New York City Police Department has contacted counsel for Thabo Sefolosha about interviewing the Hawks forward as a complaining witness in a police incident last week, sources told ESPN.com.
Sefolosha was arrested early Wednesday morning at the corner of 10th Avenue and West 17th Street in Manhattan's Chelsea district. The police report filed by officer Johnpaul Giacona of the 10th Precinct said that Sefolosha was interfering with the establishment of a crime scene in front of 1Oak nightclub, where Pacers forward Chris Copeland was stabbed in a separate incident.
But a pair of videos published on TMZ late last week challenge several specifics from the report.
One video, shot by a witness, shows an officer at the scene swinging a baton at Sefolosha's lower body after a group of officers wrestled him to the ground. In addition, the arrests of Sefolosha and Hawks center Pero Antic appear to be more than 100 feet from the site of Copeland's stabbing.
Sefolosha, who suffered a broken right fibia and ligament damage, claims he was unlawfully injured by police at the scene. He made his first public comments since the incident following the Hawks' practice Tuesday.
"I am extremely disappointed I will not be able to join my teammates on the court during the playoffs and apologize to them for any distraction this incident has caused," Sefolosha said. "I will be cheering for them every step of the way and will be diligent in my rehabilitation.
"On advice of my counsel, I hope you can appreciate that I cannot discuss the facts of the case. Those questions will be answered by my lawyer in a court of law. I will simply say I am in great pain, that I have suffered significant injury, and those were caused by the police."
Sefolosha's lawyer also said Tuesday that his counsel is "investigating the tactics of the police in this case."
The NYPD's deputy commissioner of public information declined to comment on Tuesday, saying that the matter has been referred to the Internal Affairs bureau for investigation. The Internal Affairs bureau declined to comment.
Officers involved in the arrest and injury of Sefolosha have retained legal representation, the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association confirmed on Tuesday. Though the union characterized such an action as standard operating procedure for an on-duty incident, sources close to the defense said that the investigation by the department has proceeded briskly.
Sources close to the defense describe the current legal process between Sefolosha and the NYPD as inordinately complex, with criminal, civil and administrative components.