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Wednesday, August 19, 2020

New video proves security guard pushed Raptors president Ujiri first

Newly released video footage shows a security officer initiating violent contact with Raptors president Masai Ujiri after the team won the championship.

In 2019, the Toronto Raptors won the NBA championship and President of Basketball Operations, Masai Ujiri, attempted to take the court in celebration. There he met with a sheriff’s deputy demanding his credentials and resulting in an altercation and a lawsuit.

READ MORE: Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri finally speaks out about police assault after NBA Finals

TheGrio reports that after the final game which took place in Oakland, Ujiri and an on-court security officer got into a shoving match. Law enforcement officials claimed the NBA executive initiated the contact.

“That’s when he tried to push past our deputy, and our deputy pushed him back, and there was another push that kind of moved up and struck our deputy in the face,”  Sgt. Ray Kelly told the San Francisco Chronicle.

After the allegations, Ujiri faced a lawsuit and potential criminal charges. ESPN reports that a lawsuit filed by the officer in question, Deputy Alan Strickland, states the altercation caused ” “injury to his body, health, strength, activity and person, all of which have caused and continue to cause Plaintiff great mental, emotional, psychological, physical, and nervous pain and suffering.”

Ujiri filed a countersuit, listing the Raptors, the NBA, and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) as plaintiffs calling Strickland’s recount of events “a complete fabrication.” Now, newly released video evidence looks to back him up.

Body camera footage released by Ujiri’s lawyers, and shared by CBC Sports, shows Strickland pushing first. After being pushed twice, Ujiri questions the deputy, asking “Why did you push me? I’m the president of the Raptors.”

Eventually, bystanders separate the two men and Ujiri is able to join the on-court celebration.

Throughout the entire ordeal, he has had the support of the Toronto Raptors.

“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,” a Raptors spokesperson says, according to the Toronto Star.

READ MORE: Authorities seek battery charge against Raptors executive Masai Ujiri

“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 events of that evening cast a pall over what should have been a night of celebration, and the year since.”

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The post New video proves security guard pushed Raptors president Ujiri first appeared first on TheGrio.

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