Masai Ujiri sued by Oakland officer over alleged assault after Raptors’ NBA championship

The police officer who accused Raptors president Masai Ujiri of assaulting him in the moments after Toronto won its first NBA championship in Oakland is suing Ujiri for damages.

In a federal lawsuit filed Friday in California, sheriff’s deputy Alan Strickland says Ujiri hit him in the face and chest with both fists during an altercation near the court at Oracle Arena on June 13, 2019. Strickland, who was providing security at the game, says Ujiri failed to show the required credentials to access the court, where the Raptors were celebrating their title-clinching victory over the Golden State Warriors.

The suit claims Strickland suffered serious injuries to his body and nervous system that will result in a “permanent disability.”

A spokesperson for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office said the officer involved in the altercation with Ujiri, whom the department has never identified, is on medical leave.

The suit claims Ujiri’s actions were “foreseeable” based on what it cites as Ujiri’s “previous altercations involving similar circumstances.” The Raptors, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment and the NBA were also named in the suit. They’re all accused of failing to warn the plaintiff of Ujiri’s “violent predisposition” and “propensity for physical violence prior to his assault on (Strickland).”

The suit, which seeks medical expenses, lost wages and other damages, also accuses the defendants of failing to “provide adequate safety and security to the public” and “failing to post signs warning of danger, including the danger of Masai Ujiri.”

In October, a spokesperson for the Alameda District Attorney said no charges would be filed against Ujiri stemming from the incident, although Ujiri did attend a meeting with the district attorney “focused on matters that we believe merited constructive, structured mediation and conflict resolution and were better handled in a setting outside of the courtroom,” a spokesperson for the Alameda District Attorney told the San Jose Mercury News.

“After a through investigation, we are just so happy with the result,” Annie Beles, an attorney for Ujiri, told the newspaper.

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