Raptors GM Probed. Allegedly Hit Cop After Finals Victory

Could the excessive behavior by law enforcement been due to the fact the Raptors General Manager is black?

Daily Beast 6.14.2019

Toronto Raptors general manager president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri may face charges after allegedly pushing and hitting a sheriff’s deputy in the face moments after his team won the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history, authorities said.

The Alameda County Sheriff’s office confirmed Friday morning that they are pursuing a misdemeanor charge against Ujiri for simple battery of a police officer after the Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night, a police spokesman told The Daily Beast.

One reporter who recorded the encounter said Ujiri was “punched and pushed” by a police officer. Police rebuffed that narrative despite video evidence that appeared to be to the contrary, according to a statement from the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office.

“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,” the spokesperson said.

The altercation allegedly began after the deputy denied Ujiri access to the floor because he “did not have proper credentials.”

Raptors GM 06.14.2019.jpg

Photo-Masai Ujiri being interviewed by Doris Burke after the game.

Video footage from NBC Bay Area appears to show the 48-year-old Canadian basketball executive in a verbal scuffle with a law-enforcement officer, as several men separated and restrained both Ujiri and the sheriff’s deputy. Eventually, Ujiri makes his way to the floor where he was hugged by Raptors star point guard Kyle Lowry.

Ujiri appears to be holding a credential in his right hand in the video, however, per NBA rules, only people with designated gold armbands were allowed on the court after the Game 6 game. It is not immediately unclear if Ujiri was wearing an armband or had one in his possession.

“We are working with the Oakland Police Department to file a report and contact witnesses and review video,” the spokesperson said, adding that Ujiri was not arrested.

Both the sheriff’s office and Oakland police will submit reports to the district attorney’s office, the spokesperson added, who will then determine if charges will be filed next week.

 

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