Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri accused of assaulting a cop in Oakland
Masai Ujiri, the man responsible for putting together Canada's first ever NBA championship-winning team, is under investigation today for allegedly assaulting a sheriff's deputy just minutes after last night's historic Raptors victory.
A representative for the Alameda County Sheriff's Office in Oakland, California confirmed to USA Today that the office is pursuing a misdemeanor complaint against Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri for "battery of a police officer."
The complaint stems from an alleged altercation between Ujiri and a local police officer who tried to stop him from walking onto the court for a trophy presentation after his team won the NBA Finals.
The sheriff's office alleges that a deputy asked Ujiri for his credentials as he tried to enter the presentation area at Oakland's Oracle Arena, prompting Ujiri to push the officer.
The officer is then said to have pushed back and told Ujiri that he couldn't proceed, at which point Ujijri allegedly pushed the officer again, striking him in the jaw with his arm.
Raptors team president Masai Ujiri was heated tonight 😶 pic.twitter.com/Mh05asOz3q— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) June 14, 2019
Video footage filmed directly after the physical altercation is said to have happened shows Raptors star Kyle Lowry pulling Ujiri onto the court as an officer yells, but no hits or pushes can be seen in the clips circulated to date.
Raptors President of Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri was attempting to walk to the floor to celebrate with the team he put together when the Security/Deputy tried to stop him from coming to the floor (as though he didn’t have a right to be there). pic.twitter.com/rQl7tF8H6m— Black With No Chaser (@BlackNoChaser) June 14, 2019
"We were told to strictly enforce the credentialing policy and not allow anyone onto the court without a credential, so our deputies were doing that," said Alameda County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Sgt. Ray Kelly to the San Francisco Chronicle.
"We've got two countries involved in this," he continued, noting that no arrests were made. "It's not something we wanted to have happen. It didn't have to go this route."
Why isn't this headline, "White cop under investigating for profiling black man, who happened to be the Raptors President, despite him walking with security and holding his credentials in his hand trying to get on the court to celebrate with his team?" #WeTheNorth— G. Thomas (@GeetaThomas) June 14, 2019
Neither Ujiri, The Raptors or Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment, which owns the Raptors, have yet to comment on the allegations, but Kelly says that Oakland police are investigating and that the sheriff's office plans to file a complaint with county prosecutors.
As for the logistics of bringing the Raptors President in to face any charges, Ujiri is now back in Toronto.
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