Attorney Alleges White Officer Targeted NBA Star

The defense attorney for a Black professional basketball player claims a white police officer singled him out as he exited a trendy nightclub earlier this year, sparking a confrontation that resulted in the player’s arrest and a season-ending leg fracture.

“I don’t know what he saw,” attorney Alex Spiro said of officer JohnPaul Giacona, who first told the Atlanta Hawks’ Thabo Sefolosha to clear the area early on April 8. “I think he saw a Black man in a hoodie.”

The remarks came during testimony in connection to the incident on Tuesday. Sefolosha, 30, has been charged with misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Prosecutor Jesse Matthews told a different story. He argued that Sefolosha acted entitled and disdainful to officers as they attempted to clear hundreds of people off a street following an earlier stabbing outside the club.

“The defendant does not think he needs to obey the law,” assistant district attorney Jesse Matthews said. “He does not like being told what to do.”

Sefolosha refused a plea deal and entered a plea of not guilty. Giacona had just completed three years on the job.

Read the rest at Associated Press.