Thabo Sefolosha 'Horrified' by George Floyd's Death: 'That Could Have Been Me'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 31, 2020

CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 7: Thabo Sefolosha #18 of the Houston Rockets stands for the National Anthem prior to the game against the Charlotte Hornets on March 7, 2020 at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Houston Rockets forward Thabo Sefolosha reflected on the death of George Floyd from the perspective of his encounter with New York police in 2015.

Sefolosha and then-teammate Pero Antic were placed into custody, with the Civilian Complaint Review Board determining later he had been wrongfully arrested.

"I was just horrified by what I saw," Sefolosha said of the video in which a Minneapolis police officer is seen kneeling on Floyd's neck, per the Associated Press' Tim Reynolds. "That could have been me."

Derek Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Chauvin had kept his knee on Floyd's neck despite Floyd saying he was unable to breathe.

Protestors across the country have demonstrated over the weekend to vent their anger over Floyd's death and police brutality writ large.

Sefolosha told Reynolds his experience with the NYPD in 2015 altered his opinion on the matter.

"It changed me a lot, toward the way I see law enforcement in this country," he said. And also toward the way I see the whole justice system. I went to court and I had to do all of this to prove my innocence. It really got me deep into the system and I’m really skeptical of the whole system."

During the course of his arrest, Sefolosha suffered a broken fibula and ligament damage to his ankle, both of which ended his 2015-16 season.

The 36-year-old was acquitted of misdemeanor obstruction, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest in October 2015. He filed a civil suit against five NYPD officers and the city of New York in April 2016, and the parties settled one year later.