While the Alameda County Sheriff’s office is reportedly pursuing a misdemeanor charge against Masai Ujiri, a new report suggests the Toronto Raptors president may not have done anything wrong.
Shortly after the Raptors beat the Golden State Warriors to win their first NBA title in franchise history, reports that Ujiri was involved in an altercation with a Sheriff’s deputy began to surface.
According to the Sheriff’s deputy, Ujiri was attempting to get on the court without credentials in order to join the Raptors’ celebration. When Ujiri was asked for his credentials, he reportedly pushed the Sheriff’s deputy and struck the officer in the face.
A video published by NBC Bay Area appears to show people separating Ujiri from the Sheriff’s deputy after some kind of altercation.
#BREAKING: Sheriff's deputy reportedly pushed and struck in the face by a man believed to be a Toronto Raptors executive after Game 6 of the #NBAFinals at Oracle Arena, @ACSOSheriffs says. https://t.co/fobdK9iWEq pic.twitter.com/a4X0IysY5Z— Kristofer Noceda (@krisnoceda) June 14, 2019
But as the investigation continues, a report from Bob Gillies, Chief of Bureau for The Associated Press in Canada, seems to refute the notion that Ujiri was responsible for this altercation.
In fact, Gillies’ reporting seems to suggest the police may be attempting to cover up for the Sheriff’s deputy.
Greg Wiener, a season ticket holder who was standing next to the officer, told The Associated Press the police are not telling the truth and are trying to cover up for what the officer did. He said Masai Ujiri never struck the officer in the face or asked for a credential.— Rob Gillies (@rgilliescanada) June 14, 2019
“The thing about the cops saying the policeman asked for his credentials, that didn't happen. There was no conversation at all," Wiener said.— Rob Gillies (@rgilliescanada) June 14, 2019
"This part about striking him in the face, yeah that didn't happen."
Wiener said he read what police are saying about Masai and said he felt he had to speak out.— Rob Gillies (@rgilliescanada) June 14, 2019
"I read it saying 'Wait the cops are not telling the truth.' This looks like somebody trying to embellish what happened to protect what they did, what the policeman did."
When Gillies began to share Wiener’s account on Twitter, a few of his followers responded on the thread with video footage that may completely disprove the Sheriff deputy’s story.
He was holding his credentials the whole time. The cop is lying.— Gail Osborne🤨🍎 (@gkosborne) June 14, 2019
Masai Ujiri had his credentials in his hand!— Brian Connolly (@bconnolly00) June 14, 2019
The Alameda County sheriff’s office has some explaining to do.https://t.co/oJDEM2nuEd#NBA #Toronto #Raptors #WeTheNorth #GoldenState #Oakland #Alameda #Racism #PoliceBrutality #NBAFinals2019 #NBAChampion2019
On Friday, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office, Sgt. Ray Kelly, said that they “took the high road” in the moment, deciding it wasn’t in their best interest to detain Ujiri before the trophy ceremony, but still plan to submit a complaint.
While somewhat silly it appears this story won’t yet die, but there should be plenty of eye-witness accounts, along with this video footage, to help the authorities get to the bottom of this.
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