N.Y. police release video of ex-tennis star James Blake's mistaken arrest

Fri Sep 11, 2015 6:35pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Daniel Bases

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The New York City Police Department on Friday released a security camera video showing ex-tennis star James Blake being tackled, thrown to the ground and handcuffed by an undercover officer in a now infamous case of mistaken identity.

The incident occurred as Blake, formerly the world's fourth-ranked player, was calmly standing by the entrance of a midtown Manhattan hotel, waiting for a car to take him to the U.S. Open.

Blake, 35, standing alone by the entrance of the Grand Hyatt hotel on 42nd Street on Sept. 9, was rushed by the officer who gave no warning or identification.

Blake is black while the officer, James Frascatore, is white. The incident revived questions over excessive police force that has reverberated around the country after a series of police killings of unarmed black men.

After giving no resistance to the Frascatore, Blake was handcuffed and led out of the view of the camera. The video was released by the NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau, which said in a brief statement that they had interviewed Blake and given his lawyers a copy.

"The investigation is still ongoing," NYPD Deputy Commissioner Stephen Davis said in a statement accompanying the video.

Police have said Blake had been mistakenly identified by "a cooperating witness" as being involved in a ring dealing in fraudulently purchased cellphones. They added that allegations of excessive force would be investigated by internal affairs.

The video, one minute in length, shows passersby on the street glancing over at the incident as it unfolded but not stopping. Only one person pauses to tell the officer something has dropped out of his pocket.   Continued...

Ex-tennis star James Blake is shown tackled by a NYPD officer James Frascatore (L) in front of the Grand Hyatt hotel in New York on September 9, 2015 in this still image from a security camera video released on September 11, 2015. REUTERS/NYPD/Handout