Raptors president Masai Ujiri is being investigated for an alleged altercation with a police officer as he attempted to get onto the court in Oakland after Toronto won the NBA championship. USA Today’s Dan Wolken reported that the sheriff’s office is “pursuing a misdemeanor charge” for the incident.
“BREAKING: The Alameda County Sheriff’s office is pursuing a misdemeanor charge against Raptors GM Masai Ujiri for simple battery of a police officer for last night’s postgame incident, a spokesman for the department told @USATODAY. Story posting shortly,” Wolken tweeted.
So far the videos only show the aftermath of the altercation before Raptors guard Kyle Lowry pulls Ujiri onto the court. Here is another angle of part of the incident in question.
“We can confirm our deputy was pushed and struck by a Raptors executive after he asked him for his credentials to go on the court at the end of the game,” Alameda County Sgt. Ray Kelly said, per Bleacher Report. “We are working with the Oakland Police Department to file a report and contact witnesses and review video.”
Masai Ujiri Is Seen Holding His Credential Prior to the Incident
The core of the dispute appears to be whether Ujiri had a proper credential to enter the court after the Raptors win. The above video shows Ujiri holding his credential in the tunnel during the final seconds of the Raptors close-out win.
“Masai Ujiri is *holding* his credential in his hand as he walks out of the tunnel into the arena after the Raptors won the title…the scuffle that occurred with the cop could get ugly for that cop unless Masai dropped it,” Twitter user JacksKnow points out.
It is important to note that so far no public video evidence has surfaced that shows Ujiri striking the officer. Black Sports Online provided an overview of the incident.
BSO sources tell me that the Sheriff instead of just asking who he was assumed he was someone that wasn’t supposed to be out there and aggressively put his hands on Ujiri. That is when Ujiri defended himself. Thankfully someone intervened and explained to the sheriff who Ujiri was and escorted him on the court.
Philly Voice writer Kyle Neubeck points out there appears to be a discrepancy in the account.
“Oakland cop: Masai Ujiri didn’t produce a credential and struck our officer. Masai Ujiri: Quite literally holding his credential during videotaped incident in question and seconds later on the court,” Neubeck tweeted.
One potential eyewitness Ben Baller posted a video of the aftermath along with a description of the altercation.
“The GM of the raptors just pushed a sheriff in here who was fully dressed in tactical gear. I never seen such an insane bold move like that. The cop backed down and was low key shook. I mean push like f— you mama push. Wow!!!!” Ben Baller tweeted.