NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Former tennis pro James Blake called on the NYPD Saturday to fire an officer who wrongly handcuffed him in a case of mistaken identity.
As CBS2’s Jessica Schneider reported, Blake is scheduled to meet with Mayor Bill de Blasio and police Commissioner Bill Bratton to discuss his concerns, and he said he has not ruled out a lawsuit.
“He had his opportunity to have a badge, and I don’t think he should have it anymore after this incident,” Blake said.
The Harvard-educated tennis star, who once ranked fourth in the world, was waiting outside of the Grand Hyatt New York Hotel on East 42nd Street for a car to take him to the US Open when he said he was tackled, pinned to the ground and handcuffed.
He said at one point, he was held down by five plainclothes officers. It was only after a retired NYPD detective nearby happened to recognize Blake and identified him that the officers let him go.
Police said members of a financial crimes task force were at the hotel investigating $18,000 in fraudulent credit card purchases from an online shopping delivery service. Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said a courier making a delivery mistakenly identified Blake as a suspect who he had delivered to in the past.
Surveillance video showing Blake being taken down by Officer James Frascatore was released Friday.
“I’m glad the video was released, because I think everyone can say there are two sides to a story, but I don’t think there’s a gray area or two sides to the video,” Blake said.
Blake was cleared as the wrong suspect 15 minutes after he was taken down, but he maintained that it was excessive force and abuse of police power.
“He never said ‘police,’ and throughout 10 minutes of being handcuffed, the word ‘police’ was never mentioned, the word ‘officer,’ ‘NYPD.’ No name was ever given. No badge number was ever given. No badge was ever shown,” Blake said.
Frascatore has been placed on desk duty, and the NYPD confirmed he has had several complaints filed against him in his four years with the department.
Blake said he plans to meet with the commissioner and mayor to discuss ways for the NYPD to change so he does not have to resort to a lawsuit.
“I’m not going to go and sue the city for my own gain,” he said. “If we’re going to sue for millions, we’re going to make it go to a fund to help victims of police brutality and we’re going to effect change to make sure this not happen again.”
Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch has defended Frascatore, saying the officer was professional and the arrest method proper.