Masai Ujiri Sued by Sheriff's Deputy Alan Strickland over 2019 Finals Incident

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistFebruary 10, 2020

FILE - In this June 13, 2019, file photo, Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri, center left, walks with his arm around guard Kyle Lowry after the Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors in basketball's NBA Finals in Oakland, Calif. On Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019, the Alameda County District Attorney's Office announced no criminal charges will be filed against Ujiri for an incident involving Ujiri and an Alameda County sheriff's deputy after Game 6 of the finals. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar, File)
Tony Avelar/Associated Press

California sheriff's deputy Alan Strickland is suing Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri, claiming in the lawsuit that Ujiri "hit him in the face and chest with both fists" while Strickland attempted to check his security credentials after the Raptors won Game 6 of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena, according to Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star

The Alameda Police Department recommended battery charges against Ujiri after the alleged altercation, though the Alameda County District Attorney's Office decided against charging him. 

"Mr. Ujiri attended a meeting with the District Attorney's Office focused on matters that we believe merited constructive, structured mediation and conflict resolution and were better handled in a setting outside the courtroom," the Alameda District Attorney's Office said in a statement in October.

The Alameda County Sheriff's Office initially stated Ujiri didn't have any credentials on hand when he was stopped by Strickland, though videos later showed that Ujiri in fact had his credentials in his right hand. The office later said he didn't the right credentials to get onto the court: Ujiri had a red badge, it claimed, but required a purple badge and gold armband.

The Alameda County Sheriff's Office also said Ujiri hit Strickland with two fists and struck him in the jaw. It said it had video proof, though three eyewitness close to the altercation told Robyn Doolittle of The Globe and Mail in June that the two men exchanged shoves but Ujiri never struck the man in the face. 

In the lawsuit, Strickland said he "suffered, and will continue to suffer, physical, mental, emotional, and economic injuries, including, but not limited to, lost wages, lost opportunity for financial gain, future earning capacity, and past and future medical care and expenses," per Lorenzo Reyes of USA Today.

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