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Watch: Deputy ‘Pushed, Struck In Face’ By Raptors President; Online Response Turns Racial

A post-game confrontation caught on video involving the Toronto Raptors president and a Sheriff’s deputy has triggered an investigation. In a statement Friday morning, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that it is pursuing a misdemeanor complaint against the president of the Toronto Raptors.

“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,” Sgt. Ray Kelly with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement first reported by NBC Bay Area. “We are working with the Oakland Police Department to file a report and contact witnesses and review video.”

The incident between the officer and the executive, identified as Raptors President Masai Ujiri, took place after the Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 in Oracle Arena Thursday night, a victory that secured Ujiri’s team the championship. Law enforcement says Ujiri shoved and struck an officer in the face after he was stopped from joining the team on the court for the championship celebration. Ujiri, they say, failed to show them the required credential.

Video published by NBC Bay Area’s Kristofer Noceda shows Ujiri appear to shove an officer, which results in a chaotic moment where a man, who presumably works with the team, attempts to keep the officers from taking action against Ujiri.

“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,” Noceda tweeted Thursday night. NBC’s Raj Mathai added in a follow-up post: “Raptors exec (believed to be Team President Masai Ujiri) involved in courtside altercation after the game. @ACSOSheriffs say he hit a deputy in the face. We’re waiting response from @NBA.”

Ujiri appears to be holding what may be his credential in his right hand; another video showing Ujiri waiting in the tunnel before the incident also appears to show him holding the credential, USA Today reports. The outlet notes, however, that NBA rules specify that “only personnel with specially designated gold armbands were allowed on the court after the conclusion of the game, and it’s unclear if Ujiri was wearing one or had one in his possession.”

Response online to Noceda’s post of the video online immediately became racially charged, with several responders assuming the deputy’s actions were racially motivated. “If the sheriffs have a clue, they will back the hell down, chalk it up to a mistake on both sides and move along. No doubt they laid hands first, and I bet it was because they could never fathom a black man was the president of a team,” wrote one responder. “Black man with an African accent…cop probably still doesn’t believe it,” wrote another.

Some came to the officer’s defense. “Switch it up tho, say he’s just some rando in a suit and gets into it with, or assaults, a player out there and then cop says ‘oh I saw him but he said he was the team prez and had a nice suit on so I let him through.’ Then where we at?” tweeted one defender. But most weren’t so willing to give a white officer the benefit of the doubt. “But how can he not know who the opposing team’s president is, especially knowing the possibility of an on court celebration of the Raptors win?? That would just be gross negligence on the staff at Oracle to have not been prepared for that regardless!” one person fired back.

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Douglas Phillips

    June 15, 2019 at 1:30 am

    If I was the deputy, I wouldn’t know the dude from Adam. If I was told to hold the line and let no one out on the court without an arm band then I’d be in his position. Needless to say no matter who’s fault, assaulting a police officer in the line of duty.. should get you jail time!

    • Jimbo Jones

      June 20, 2019 at 11:10 pm

      In some cities, assaulting a police officer can earn you a trip to the hospital.

  2. kat

    June 15, 2019 at 1:46 am

    Why do people always have to argue with police officers. Cooperate. You have no justification not to answer questions and show id. Some people are just too full of themselves. If it were someone wanting to harm one of the players and he did not ask for id, they’d be raising all kinds of hell.

  3. CharlieSeattle

    June 15, 2019 at 1:51 am

    No ID? In casual clothes? You look just like a fat rowdy fan.

    Get over yourself. No one knows are cares who you are.

  4. Diana

    June 15, 2019 at 2:18 am

    What I see is a black man miss handle a policeman doing his job you don’t put your hand on a policeman so if it’s racist is racist against a White cop doing his job keep your hands to yourself , you look like a overly aggressive person putting your hand on an officer should have been arrested for such thing if it was the other way around oh my when ever a black is involved it’s always the white person fault NOT THIS TIME for sure sue his butt maybe he will learn keep your hands to yourself

  5. rob

    June 15, 2019 at 4:19 am

    I am so tired of hearing this bs from liberals about blacks and police. If the owners, et al were supposed to be wearing gold armbands or they were not to get through,then where the hell was his armband? And I don’t care if you are from here, there or anywhere and I don’t care if you are brown, black, green or red, YOU DO NOT HASSLE WITH A POLICE OFFICER DOING HIS JOB! get over your frickin self! I hope you are at least arrested and fined! loser

  6. William conley

    June 15, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    Reverse the skin colors of the officer and the person who assaulted an officer and this would be national news and instantly labeled an act of racism or hatred.

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