James Blake Tackled by NYPD, Receives Apology From Mayor de Blasio And Police Commissioner Bratton
Ex-tennis star James Blake was tackled by NYPD outside the The Grand Hyatt Hotel in Manhattan on Wednesday in a case of mistaken identity. The plain-clothes police officers working on an identity theft case asked no questions before slamming the 35-year-old Blake to the ground causing minor injuries.
“Don’t say a word,” the police officer snapped when Blake asked what he was being arrested for and promised to comply. “Maybe I’m naïve, but I just assumed it was someone I went to high school with or something who was running at me to give me a big hug, so I smiled at the guy,” Blake told the New York Daily News. The white officers wore no badges, nor did they show any.
Blake is Harvard educated and was once ranked in the top-ten. “You’d think they could say, ‘Hey, we want to talk to you. We are looking into something. I was just standing there. I wasn’t running. It’s not even close [to being okay],” Blake said. “It’s blatantly unnecessary. You would think at some point they would get the memo that this isn’t okay, but it seems that there’s no stopping it.”
Blake explained that he did not wish to make his ordeal a media frenzy of any kind. He only wished to speak out on behalf of those without a voice. All he asked from officers was an apology. Internal Affairs, however, found it necessary to conduct an investigation in which surveillance footage was examined. As a result, the officer who made the initial assault was put on modified duty and Blake was issued a formal apology from mayor Bill de Blasio and police commissioner William J Bratton.
“I want to talk to him because I want to apologize on behalf of the City of New York,” de Blasio said in a television interview on Thursday. “This shouldn’t happen and he shouldn’t have been treated that way.”
Bratton said in a statement that he as well would like to extend his apologies.
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