Newly released body cam footage shows that Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri didn't start the altercation with an Alameda County sheriff's deputy in the moments after the team's historic victory over the Golden State Warriors during the 2019 NBA Finals, according to the Raptors.
The video shows that Ujiri tried to walk onto the court to celebrate with the team before he was stopped by Deputy Alan Strickland. Strickland grabbed Ujiri by the suit jacket and shoved him back as he told him to "back the f--- up." As Ujiri showed his credentials, Strickland then shoved him a second time.
After the second shove, Ujiri shoved back. The two men were separated, and Ujiri eventually made his way onto the court.
The video was released alongside a countersuit filed Tuesday by Ujiri against Strickland in U.S. District Court in Oakland, California.
"Only after being unjustifiably told to 'back the f--- up' and shoved twice did Mr. Ujiri show any response and return a shove to Mr. Strickland's chest," the lawsuit states. "Mr. Ujiri's defensive response was a reasonable and justified reaction to Mr. Strickland's use of unnecessary and excessive force."
Strickland's lawsuit, which was filed in February, alleged Ujiri assaulted him, causing "injury to his body, health, strength, activity and person," ESPN reported. Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern initially requested Ujiri be charged with battery of a peace officer, however, the County District Attorney's Office declined to press charges after an investigation.
Joining as plaintiffs are the Raptors, the NBA and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment.
The Raptors said in a statement that Masai was "not an aggressor, but instead was the recipient of two very violent, unwarranted actions."