Raptors’ Masai Ujiri showed wrong credentials before clash with deputy, sheriff’s office says
Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri presented a deputy with the wrong credentials before the two were involved in an altercation at the end of the NBA Finals, according to the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office.
Video footage from the end of the incident shows Ujiri and a white police officer being separated at the edge of the court following the Toronto Raptors’ title-clinching win in Oakland on June 13. The officer had blocked Ujiri from joining his team to celebrate their victory.
WATCH: Videos show two angles on Ujiri’s confrontation with deputy
According to the latest description of events from the sheriff’s office, Ujiri tried to access the court by showing the deputy his pass for Game 6.
However, he did not show separate credentials that would have explicitly allowed him to access the court after the game, and he held his pass too close to the deputy’s face for it to be read, Sgt. Ray Kelly of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office said.
The deputy refused to let Ujiri join his team on the court, and a shoving match ensued, Kelly told Global News on Friday.
The sheriff’s office claims the deputy suffered a concussion and an injured jaw as a result of the second push. It’s now preparing to file a complaint against Ujiri with the district attorney’s office over the altercation.
Kelly described Ujiri’s second reaction as both a push and a punch on Friday.
He told Global News that Ujiri “moved forward and extended his arms outward with closed fists in a pushing motion, hitting the deputy on the left side of his jaw with significant force.”
He says the “punch left the deputy with a concussion and a jaw injury.”
Witnesses have disputed the police version of events though, saying they saw the shoving match but did not see Ujiri punch the deputy.
“I did not see the officer being struck in the face, jaw or anything like that striking,” witness Greg Wiener told Wait, There’s More last week.
Wiener says Ujiri “kind of blew off his stop sign” when the first push took place. He says the deputy shoved Ujiri back, and Ujiri responded with a very hard shove. “It was a hard, two-hand shove to the chest.”
Wiener said the deputy was aggressive with everyone.
The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office has not released additional footage of the incident.
“We have body camera video, surveillance video that’s very descriptive, and I can adamantly tell you that Mr. Ujiri did strike the deputy sheriff,” Kelly told Wait, There’s More last week.
The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office has faced accusations of carding in connection with the incident. The term is commonly applied to the police practice of stopping black men and asking for their credentials at random times.
The sheriff’s office has not identified the deputy, who is now on medical leave and considering a lawsuit against Ujiri, the Raptors and the NBA.
The Raptors have said they are looking at the incident and cooperating with authorities.
Ujiri has not made any public comment.
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