Former Tennis Player James Blake Receives Apology for Being Tackled by NYPD Officer
Apologies were made to former Olympian and tennis star, James Blake, by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner William Bratton after Blake was tackled and handcuffed outside a hotel as he waited for a ride to the U.S. Open tennis tournament. A plainclothes police officer was working undercover on a police sting to apprehend several people suspected of buying high end merchandise with fraudulent credit cards when he mistakenly apprehended Blake. According to the tennis star, the officer charged him, tackled him to the ground and told him to “turn over and shut your mouth” before placing him in handcuffs.
Police Commissioner Bratton has ordered an internal investigation into the incident to determine what mistakes led to the mistaken identity and if officers used excessive force in detaining Blake. Bratton noted that the officers involved did not report the incident to authorities, which resulted in him finding out about it from media reports. In comments made to the press following the event, Blake, who is bi-racial, claimed that his race may have played a part in his arrest. Commissioner Bratton denies these allegations and stated that Mr. Blake’s likeness to a picture of the suspect provided to the undercover police officers was key to the mistaken identity.
The arresting officer has been placed on administrative duties while the investigation takes place.
James Blake recently appeared on Good Morning America to discuss his apprehension. In his interview, Blake stated that he was shaken up by the incident, but that aside from a few bumps and bruises, he was all right. According to the Daily News, Blake stated that the whole experience was “blatantly unnecessary,” and that there was no justification for the way he was treated.
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