OAKLAND, Calif. - A petition to fire the Alameda County sheriff's deputy caught on camera shoving the Toronto Raptors president twice on the night his team won the NBA championship last year is gaining steam.
More than 9,000 people had signed the Change.org "Fire Deputy Alan Strickland" petition as of Tuesday.
"Alan F. Strickland continues to skirt the law by abusing his position as a law enforcement officer," the petition reads, citing the deputy's past criminal conviction for insurance fraud, first reported by KTVU.
Alan Strickland says he had facial swelling after he was shoved by Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri. This is his photo from the hospital.
Strickland has repeatedly refused to comment, and it's unclear if this call for his termination will lead anywhere. He has not been charged with any current crimes and the Sheriff's Office has no public files of any sustained findings against him, including ones for dishonesty.
In fact, the Alameda County Sheriff's Office has supported him, even recommending assault and battery charges be filed against Raptors president Masai Ujiri last summer, which the District Attorney's Office decided not to prosecute.
In an email to KTVU last week, Sheriff's Sgt. Ray Kelly wrote: "A snippet of video was released by attorneys. It does not depict the entire incident in detail. There are different angles and high definition images that tell the complete story. There seems to be a rush to judgment before all the facts are in."
Masai Ujiri's lanyard was showing to his credential. He is not seen wearing a yellow armband.
Strickland has been on medical leave from the sheriff's office since June 2019.
That's when he wrote in his police report that Ujiri didn't have the right credentials to get onto the court and congratulate his team, and the president ended up punching him in the face, which caused major jaw pain and migraines.
However, video made public on Tuesday, first reported by KTVU, showed that it was Strickland who was the initial aggressor and that Ujiri never used his fists or hit the deputy anywhere in his face.
What the video does show: Strickland stops Ujiri by shoving him twice in the chest and telling him to "back the f--- up."
Ujiri, credentials hanging out of his breast suit pocket, is then seen pushing Strickland back once with open hands.
The whole matter is over within seconds.
Strickland went to the hospital twice, police records indicate, and he complained of facial swelling and major pain.
He has accrued about $150,000 in workers' compensation so far, court records show. And he has not been back to work since.
The petition notes that this claim is "dubious....another attempt to fraudulently receive worker's comp benefits at the expense of taxpayer money."