Lawyers for a U.S. law enforcement officer have filed a motion to dismiss a counterclaim in a lawsuit by Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri following an altercation in the NBA Finals of Last year.
In documents filed in U.S. District Court Monday in Oakland, Calif., The legal team of Alameda County Sheriff’s Deputy Alan Strickland said they would seek dismissal.
A Zoom hearing is scheduled for November 17.
The dispute arose as Ujiri tried to get onto the field after the Raptors beat the Golden State Warriors to win the NBA title last June.
The Raptors said a video released with the counter suit proved Ujiri was not the aggressor in the conflict.
The footage appears to show Strickland, who was working on security during the game, using his arm to stop Ujiri from getting onto the pitch in an apparent effort to ensure he had the proper credentials.
As Ujiri approaches Strickland, he appears to be searching for these credentials. Ujiri tries to pass and Strickland pushes Ujiri before the two seem to exchange their words.
WATCH | The video shows an altercation between Ujiri, the deputy sheriff:
The video shows Strickland pushing Ujiri again, which leads Ujiri to push Strickland away.
In the most recent documents, lawyers for Strickland said he would have risked Ujiri “potentially committing a number of potentially serious crimes” if the MP had not used force.
The document said it was a high-level sporting event, there was a risk of crime.
He lists examples, including the stabbing of tennis star Monica Seles in 1993, the murder of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics, and the 2004 NBA brawl between the Detroit Pistons and the Indiana Pacers.
WATCH | The Raptors head coach nurse says the video is “self-explanatory”:
Ujiri does not cooperate with officials, document says
The document alleges that Ujiri did not cooperate with the officials.
“But just as Mr. Ujiri completely ignored the head of private security, he completely ignored MP Strickland’s words, gesture and attempted physical guidance,” the document reads.
Previously, Strickland’s legal team alleged that Ujiri’s counterclaim was motivated by race and a bias against law enforcement.
The Raptors declined to comment.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.