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USA TODAY

Someone owes Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri an apology.

Several someones even.

Alan Strickland is one. He is the Alameda County Sheriff’s Deputy who was working as a security guard at Game 6 of last season’s NBA Finals in Oakland and whose version of events described in a civil lawsuit against Ujiri, the Toronto Raptors, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment and the NBA do not match video of the altercation between Strickland and Ujiri following Toronto’s championship-clinching victory.

The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office is another. It propagated the fabrication in a statement from a sheriff spokesman, who also happens to be Strickland’s friend, and the sheriff’s office ultimately wanted to pursue a misdemeanor complaint for battery of an officer.

And those in the news media who were quick to condemn Ujiri as the instigator.

In October, the Alameda County district attorney’s office announced it would not file charges against Ujiri, but Strickland in February filed a lawsuit in federal court, claiming he suffered serious injuries and permanent disability. He is seeking financial relief.

Those claims were exposed on Tuesday when Ujiri filed a countersuit that includes video, including from the deputy’s body cam, of the incident that shows Strickland as the  instigator who shoved Ujiri not only first but twice as the Raptors executive tried to show his credential and join the team on the court for the championship celebration.

The sheriff’s office had video evidence that didn’t support the claim yet stuck to a story that wasn’t true. And you wonder why there is distrust.

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Ujiri’s countersuit, which also includes photos of a supposedly debilitated Strickland – who in 2005 pleaded guilty to misdemeanor insurance fraud according to court documents – operating a power saw and carrying boxes, should be enough to end this legal back-and-forth.

The Raptors in a statement said, “We are mindful this remains before the courts, but we have always maintained that the claims made against Masai are baseless and entirely without merit. We believe this video evidence shows exactly that – Masai was not an aggressor, but instead was the recipient of two very violent, unwarranted actions.

“The events of that evening cast a pall over what should have been a night of celebration, and the year since. While Masai has the full backing of Raptors and MLSE as he fights this injustice, we are aware that not all people have similar support and resources. This is a spurious legal action that MLSE, the NBA, and especially Masai should not be facing.”

There’s a phrase that stands out above the other words in the statement: “We are aware that not all people have similar support and resources.”

Ujiri has financial means, both personally and through Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment and the NBA, to not only challenge Strickland but to expose his case for what it is.

And while not at the magnitude of George Floyd or Breonna Taylor, it’s a microcosm of the social justice movement in the past four months. A Black person was accused by law enforcement of crime they did not commit and was only vindicated by video evidence.

If it’s not Ujiri and if there’s no video, then what?

People are rightfully asking for law enforcement accountability. That’s why LeBron James wore a hat to Game 1 on Tuesday calling for justice for Taylor and her family, and why other NBA players and coaches want justice for Floyd and his family.

Ujiri deserves an apology. Sadly and problematically, he shouldn’t wait for one.

Follow USA TODAY Sports NBA columnist Jeff Zillgitt on Twitter @JeffZillgitt

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