New video: Sheriff’s deputy the 'undeniably initial aggressor' in Toronto Raptors shoving match

Published by KTVU.COM

Summary generated on August 19, 2020

    OAKLAND, Calif. - New video released on Tuesday shows for the first time an Alameda County sheriff's deputy clearly shoving the Toronto Raptors president twice in the chest in an encounter that grabbed international attention.

    Deputy Alan Strickland was "Undeniably the initial aggressor," according to attorneys representing Raptors president Masai Ujiri.

    The video, 6 minutes and 20 seconds of three edited clips, shows Ujiri walking onto the court on June 13, 2019 after the Raptors beat the Warriors 114-100 and Strickland putting his arm out to stop him, checking to make sure he had his security credentials.

    WATCH: Video shows shoving match between deputy and Raptors president.

    Ujiri did have credentials out; he was seen on the video tucking his badge into his suit pocket.

    Strickland tried to stop him, putting out his arm to block his path.

    Strickland is seen in the high-definition security video pushing Ujiri in the chest, as an onlooker grabs at the deputy's shoulder to calm him down.

    Strickland tells him to "Back the f-- up," according to lawyers representing Ujiri.

    The footage comes from Strickland's body camera as well as two short clips from security cameras inside Oracle Arena.

    Ujiri is being represented by the law firm of Cotchett Pitre & Mccarthy in Burlingame, Calif. Up until now, the public had to rely on witness accounts of the encounter, and a shaky cell phone video taken from several feet away, which circulated on social media.

    Strickland filed a federal lawsuit against Ujiri, the Raptors, Maple Leaf Entertainment at the NBA alleging Ujiri shoved him so hard on the court that he suffered physical injuries to his head, jaw, chin and teeth.

    Strickland also filed a workers' compensation claim alleging Ujiri "Circumvented" the security checkpoint and then tried to "Storm" the court and "Hit him in the face and chest with both fists."

    Strickland also claimed Ujiri had a "Violent predisposition" and acted with an "Evil motive amounting to malice," according to his suit and workers' compensation claims.

    The release of this video as well as the testimony of several witnesses actually vindicates Ujiri, the defendant's lawyers claim in a 108-page response.

    "Mr. Strickland used unnecessary and excessive force," the counterclaim states.

    "There was no reason to view Mr. Ujiri as a threat to anyone and no reason for Mr. Strickland to curse at Mr. Ujiri and forcefully shove him as numerous witnesses observed."

    Neither Strickland, who has not been back to work in more than a year, nor his attorney, David Mastagni, were available for immediate comment.

    As for whether Strickland will ever return to work is unclear.

    According to Transparent California, Strickland earned $224,000 a year, not including benefits, in 2018.

    According to his suit, Strickland has been "Prevented from attending to his usual occupation" and believes that will be the case "For a period of time in the future."

    Strickland alleged he suffered such a "Shock of injury to his nervous system" that he believes "Will result in some permanent disability."

    In addition to the physical suffering, Strickland also said his "Emotional well-being" also took a blow.

    Ujiri's lawyers pointed out that on the night he went to the hospital, Strickland had no visible facial swelling as he had claimed in his reports to police, and they provided a picture of him showing no bruises.

    Strickland's past criminal history is also troubling, legal analysts have said.

    In March, KTVU broke an exclusive story revealing that in 1994, Strickland was arrested and later convicted of insurance fraud, raising questions about his integrity.

    The fraud charge was discovered when Strickland was applying to be a San Mateo police officer in 2005 - a job he did not get.

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