NEW YORK -- New surveillance video has been released showing an NYPD police officer tackling former tennis star James Blake outside a Manhattan hotel in a case of mistaken identity.
In an earlier statement, NYPD said officers tackled and detained Blake believing he was a suspect involved in an ongoing investigation regarding fraudulently purchased cell phones, according to WPIX.
According to the New York Daily News, 38-year-old Officer James Frascatore of Long Island was the officer who is seen on the video body-slamming the tennis player outside the Grand Hyatt on 42nd Street.
Frascatore is reportedly a defendant in four ongoing civil cases that claim he and several other officers used excessive force during false arrests. He has also had five complaints against him with the Civilian Complaint Review Board.
Deputy Commissioner Stephen Davis release a statement that stated:
“The NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau interviewed James Blake last night. The NYPD is releasing video footage from the September 9th incident outside of the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Manhattan. A copy of the video was provided to Mr. Blake’s attorney. The investigation is still ongoing.”
James Blake issued this statement Friday:
Just before noon on Wednesday, September 9, 2015, while I was standing on a sidewalk outside my hotel in midtown Manhattan waiting for a car to take me to the U.S. Open, a plainclothes New York City Police officer tackled me to the ground, handcuffed me, paraded me down a crowded sidewalk, and detained me for ten minutes before he and his four colleagues realized they had the wrong man. The officer, who was apparently investigating a case of credit card fraud, did not identify himself as a member of law enforcement, ask my name, read me my rights, or in any way afford me the dignity and respect due every person who walks the streets of this country. And while I continue to believe the vast majority of our police officers are dedicated public servants who conduct themselves appropriately, I know that what happened to me is not uncommon.
When this incident was reported in the news media, Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Bratton both called me to extend their personal apologies, and I greatly appreciate those gestures. But extending courtesy to a public figure mistreated by the police is not enough. As I told the Commissioner, I am determined to use my voice to turn this unfortunate incident into a catalyst for change in the relationship between the police and the public they serve. For that reason, I am calling upon the City of New York to make a significant financial commitment to improving that relationship, particularly in those neighbourhoods where incidents of the type I experienced occur all too frequently. The Commissioner has agreed to meet with my representatives and me to discuss our ideas in that regard, and we very much look forward to that meeting.