New video footage shows Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri being shoved twice before pushing back against Alameda County sheriff’s deputy Alan Strickland while trying to reach the court after the team won the NBA championship in June 2019.
The footage was first released by FOX KTVU 2 on Tuesday night and later confirmed by CBC News.
Ujiri on Tuesday filed a countersuit in U.S. District Court in Oakland, Calif., in the aftermath of a lawsuit filed by the law enforcement officer.
The Raptors said in a statement on Tuesday that a video released with the countersuit proves Ujiri wasn’t the aggressor in the dispute.
In the video, Ujiri can be seen attempting to walk onto the court after the Raptors’ 114-110 Game 6 win over the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif.
Strickland then can be seen using his arm to stop Ujiri in an apparent effort to ensure he had security credentials. As Ujiri approaches Strickland, he appears to be reaching for those credentials. Strickland then can be seen shoving the 50-year-old before the two appear to exchange words. Strickland then shoves Ujiri again, at which point Ujiri retaliates by pushing Strickland back.
WATCH | New video shows altercation between Raptors president, sheriff’s deputy:
The altercation is broken up at that point by bystanders. Ujiri is escorted to the court, where he’s met by Raptors guard Kyle Lowry.
FOX KTVU 2 says the videos it obtained span six minutes 20 seconds of three edited clips.
“We are mindful this remains before the courts, but we have always maintained that the claims made against Masai are baseless and entirely without merit,” reads the statement from the Raptors.
“We believe this video evidence shows exactly that — Masai was not an aggressor but instead was the recipient of two very violent, unwarranted actions.”
Raptors coach Nick Nurse said Wednesday that the video is self-explanatory and probably ruined a night of celebration for Ujiri.
“I’m sure he still felt pretty good about the win and all that stuff, but it had to dampen that. It’s been a long time, it’s been over a year, so it’s good to maybe get close to some closure on that.”
WATCH | Nick Nurse says new video of altercation ‘self explanatory’:
Ujiri attempted to make his way onto the court
In a document filed in March in a California district court, Ujiri accused Strickland of “forcefully shoving him back once and then twice” as Ujiri attempted to make his way on the court. The document also stated Ujiri only made contact after Strickland’s initial incitement.
“Other than the shoves, the two men did not have any further physical contact with each other,” the document says.
“The entire encounter between Mr. Strickland and Mr. Ujiri was brief. Mr. Ujiri was eventually escorted to the court where he joined his team, accepted the championship trophy and gave a live on-camera interview.”
The document was filed in response to a civil claim filed Feb. 10 by Strickland and his wife, Kelly Strickland, seeking $75,000 US in general damages, as well as other compensation, including punitive damages, lost wages, current and future medical expenses and legal costs.
Strickland alleged that as a result of the altercation, he suffered “injury to his head, body, health, strength, nervous system and person, all of which caused and continue to cause great mental, physical, emotional and psychological pain and suffering.”
Published at Wed, 19 Aug 2020 02:54:35 +0000