NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There was applause for James Blake at the US Open on Friday night, just hours after the NYPD released surveillance video of the takedown of the former tennis star who was mistakenly arrested by an officer outside a Midtown hotel Wednesday.
As CBS2’s Jessica Schneider reported, Blake can be seen standing in a blue shirt just outside of the Grand Hyatt Hotel when suddenly an undercover cop in plain clothes runs up to him, pulls him to the ground, and secures his hands behind his back to handcuff him.
Blake was held on the ground for several seconds while Officer James Frascatore secured the handcuffs.
Retired NYPD sergeant Joe Giacalone said it never should have been handled this way.
“This officer is not doing what he’s trained to do. You’re supposed to wear a ray jacket when you’re undercover work, and he doesn’t have his shield on and apparently he doesn’t ID himself either which is something we have to do,” Giacalone said.
Blake was released by police after a retired officer recognized the former Olympian who once ranked fourth in the world.
In addition to the video, the NYPD released a statement:
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.
Blake also released a statement:
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 neighborhoods 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.