OAKLAND (CBS SF) — An Alameda County Sheriff’s Deputy may file a suit after claiming he was seriously injured last week during a scuffle with Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri at the end of Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
Alameda County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Ray Kelly on Friday said that Ujiri hit the deputy with his arm on the side of his face as Ujiri shoved him to try to get onto the court after the Raptors won the NBA championship on Thursday in Oakland.READ MORE: Slow Recovery Prompts Businesses to Rethink Their Future in Downtown San Francisco
Ujiri is now at the center of a criminal investigation.
A law enforcement source close to the investigation told KPIX 5 Monday evening that the deputy involved in the incident is considering filing a lawsuit against Ujiri, the Raptors and the NBA.
The deputy has hired high-profile civil rights attorney David Mastagni, who spoke exclusively with KPIX Monday night.
“All options are on the table. No options are off the table,” said Mastagni.
He says the deputy could file a lawsuit.
“No options are being ruled out as to how to rectify the situation,” said Mastagni.
The deputy can be seen a cell phone video showing the immediate aftermath of the incident with Ujiri.
“It’s an unprovoked significant hit to the jaw of the law enforcement officer,” said Mastagni.READ MORE: South Bay Restaurants Raise Money for Anti-Hate Efforts Supporting AAPI Community
The deputy told investigators he was trying to stop the Raptors president because he did not know who he was and he was not wearing proper credentials.
The deputy says he hasn’t been able to return to work due to the injuries he suffered last week.
“He has a serious concussion; a templar mandibular joint injury, which is a serious jaw injury,” said Mastagni.
In the days since the incident, Mastagni says his client, who is a 20 year veteran with the sheriff’s department, has been painted as a racist.
“This is an issue of credentials or no credentials, not race,” argued Mastagni.
KPIX 5 also learned exclusively Monday night that Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern personally reviewed the footage from the body camera of the deputy involved and the security cameras inside Oracle Arena.
The Sheriff said he completely supports the deputy and is recommending the case move forward to the district attorney for criminal charges of misdemeanor battery of a police officer against Ujiri.
The Raptors say they are “cooperating with authorities” and “look forward to resolving the situation.”
The confrontation between Ujiri and the deputy was the second incident at Oracle Arena during the NBA finals involving an executive with one of the teams. During Game 3 on June 5, Warriors minority owner Mark Stevens shoved and swore at Toronto’s Kyle Lowry after Lowry dove into the courtside seats to save a loose ball.MORE NEWS: San Jose State University President Says Ex-Trainer Improperly Touched Athletes
The NBA and the Warriors announced that Stevens has been banned from attending any NBA game for a year and fined $500,000.