An Oakland police officer is suing Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri and seeking damages for an alleged assault the officer claims happened after the Raptors won the NBA Finals in June.
In a federal lawsuit filed Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, sheriff’s deputy Alan Strickland and his wife Kelly Strickland are seeking a jury trial to resolve the matter. They are also seeking general damages in excess of the minimum jurisdictional amount of $75,000, as well as punitive damages, medical and incidental expenses, future medical and incidental expenses, loss of earnings, prejudgment interest, property damage, legal fees, and any other relief the court would find.
Strickland was working security at Oracle Arena for Game 6 of the NBA Finals on June 13, 2019. He claims that Ujiri didn’t show the proper credentials needed to reach a specific area on the court minutes after the Raptors won the game to secure the franchise’s first NBA championship in its history.
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In the lawsuit, Strickland claims that Ujiri attacked him “and hit him in the face and chest with both fists.” The lawsuit claims the force from Ujiri’s alleged attack sent Strickland “backwards several feet.”
Strickland said in the lawsuit that he “suffered, and will continue to suffer, physical, mental, emotional, and economic injuries, including, but not limited to, lost wages, lost opportunity for financial gain, future earning capacity, and past and future medical care and expenses.”
Strickland is pursuing the lawsuit under complaints of assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, two counts of negligence, and loss of consortium.
At the time of the alleged incident, police said Ujiri “had no credential displayed” when Strickland claims to have tried to stop Ujiri from reaching the court. Multiple images and video of the alleged incident, however, appear to show that Ujiri did, in fact, have credentials on him and was holding them in his hand.
In October, the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office announced it would not press charges against Ujiri for the alleged altercation.
“I am extremely pleased with the decision,” Ujiri said in a statement released by the Raptors after that announcement. “While these past months have been difficult waiting for a determination on this matter, I understand the nature of the process and am appreciative of the efforts of all involved.”
“I am happy that this is now behind me and I look forward to the task of bringing another championship to the City of Toronto.”
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