Sunday, September 26, 2021
CLOSE
 
Video appears to show deputy first shoved Raptors president
By Associated Press
Published August 21, 2020

Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri receives his 2019 NBA basketball championship ring from Larry Tanenbaum, chairman of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, before the Raptors played the New Orleans Pelicans in Toronto, Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP,File)

A new video released by the attorneys of Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri appears to show an Alameda County sheriff’s deputy initially shoved him twice leading to an altercation moments after his team had defeated the Golden State Warriors in last year’s NBA championship.  

The Raptors had just won their first title at Oracle Arena in Oakland on June 13, 2019, when Ujiri went onto the court to join his celebrating team. 

Alameda County sheriff’s deputy Alan Strickland claimed in a federal lawsuit filed in February that he stopped Ujiri because he didn’t provide the proper credential, leading to a shoving match that was partially captured on video. Strickland alleged Ujiri hit him “in the face and chest with both fists,” tried to go around him and repeatedly ignored orders to stop. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Strickland’s body camera video released Tuesday by Cotchett Pitre & McCarthy, the law firm representing Ujiri, shows the Raptors president walking while pulling credentials out of his suit’s breast pocket and the deputy aggressively shoving him twice shortly before Ujiri shoves him back. The footage ends shortly after that. 

The Raptors said in a statement they stand by Ujiri and point out the video shows Strickland’s accusations are “baseless and entirely without merit.” 

“We believe this video evidence shows exactly that — Masai was not an aggressor, but instead was the recipient of two very violent, unwarranted actions,” the team said. 

“While Masai has the full backing of Raptors and MLSE (Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment) as he fights this injustice, we are aware that not all people have similar support and resources. This is a spurious legal action that MLSE, the NBA, and especially Masai should not be facing,” it added. 

In a counter-claim filed Tuesday, Ujiri’s attorneys said the footage shows Strickland was “undeniably the initial aggressor” in the confrontation and that the new evidence will vindicate Ujiri’s rights “as a victim of unreasonable force, assault, and battery at the hands of Mr. Strickland,” the East Bay Times reported. 

Mastagni Holstedt, A.P.C. law firm, which represents Alameda County sheriff’s deputies, did not respond to a request for comment. 

ADVERTISEMENT

In a statement Wednesday, sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly said the department had closed out its part in the case last July. Kelly distinguished between the public case, which ended with a citation hearing last November, and the private matter of Strickland’s suit against Ujiri. 

“There’s been a snippet of video released publicly that doesn’t tell the story of the entire investigation,” Kelly said. “That story will have to come out through the process. We stand by our original statements.” 

Kelly confirmed that Strickland remains employed by the department and said the deputy is on leave recovering from injuries sustained during the incident. 

Categories: Basketball | Sports
Tags: | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

Get the Los Angeles Sentinel App!



Since 1933 The Voice of Our Community Speaking for Itself.
88 Years of LA Sentinel.
Black News.
SEARCH:    
Videos


Black Fact of the Day


Photo of the Day

Events

LA Sentinel
in your pocket:





TOS-Cookbook-Web

LA Watts Times

 
© 2021 Los Angeles Sentinel All Rights Reserved • A Bakewell Media Publication

AboutArchivesContact UsCorrections & MisprintsMedia Kit

Terms of ServicePrivacy Policy

LA Watts TimesTaste of Soul

Close / I'm already on the list

Subscribe Today!

Don't be limited anymore! Subscribe Now »

** Existing subscribers, please Login / Register for Digital »

Subscribe to The Los Angeles Sentinel for only $5.99 $3.99 per month, with 1 month free!

Relax in comfort each week as you read the printed newspaper on your own time, delivered weekly to your home or office. This subscription also includes UNLIMITED DIGITAL ACCESS for all of your devices. Includes FREE shipping! One easy payment of $3.99/month gets you:

Subscribe Now »