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#pounditFriday, October 15, 2021

Masai Ujiri issues statement on officer dropping lawsuit against him

Masai Ujiri

A law enforcement officer who sued Masai Ujiri over an on-court incident with the Toronto Raptors executive dropped his lawsuit last week. On Monday, Ujiri addressed the development in a statement.

Ujiri thanked “fans around the world” who “stood with me” as he faced allegations that he assaulted sheriff’s deputy Alan Strickland after the Raptors won the NBA Finals in 2019. He said he will now try to help address racial injustices in the legal system.

Strickland accused Ujiri of striking him in the face and chest after the officer would not allow Ujiri to join the on-court celebration at Oracle Arena in Oakland, where the Raptors had just defeated the Golden State Warriors. The deputy said he suffered “physical, mental, emotional, and economic injuries.” He sought $75,000 in damages.

The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office initially pursued a misdemeanor complaint against Ujiri for battery of a police officer. Strickland later said he had a concussion from the incident.

Video footage that was released last August showed that Ujiri was looking past Strickland and only halfway pulled out his credential when trying to gain court access. However, Strickland appeared to escalate the situation by using an excessive amount of force, at which point Ujiri shoved him back.

Ujiri has been with the Raptors since 2013. He is considered one of the best executives in the NBA.

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