Radio Sandwell African / Caribbean News

Video shows officer tackling ex-tennis star James Blake

2015-09-12 13:26:39


New York police have released video footage of the mistaken arrest of retired professional tennis player James Blake.

Mr Blake was on his way to the US Open when a plain-clothed officer approached him suddenly and knocked him to the ground.

Police say he was misidentified as a suspect in a fraud case.

The officer who tackled Mr Blake was named as James Frascatore.

New York Police Commissioner William Bratton said Mr Blake looked like the suspect's "twin" and later apologised to him.

Mr Frascatore, who has been placed on desk duty while the case is investigated, has received five civilian complaints in the past, including use of excessive force, according to New York radio station WNYC.

"Some of the information from his personnel file is in the media... Part of our investigation will be looking at his history," said Mr Bratton.

Mr Blake has alleged that the officer used improper force when he was slammed to the ground on Wednesday.

James BlakeMr Blake has alleged that the officers used excessive force when tackling him

Mr Blake, who is mixed race, said race may have contributed to the incident but that his primary concern was with the amount of force used, and he said an apology was not enough.

"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," he said in a statement on Friday.

"Incidents of the type I experienced occur all too frequently."

The department has recently been involved in a number of high-profile cases involving accusations of police brutality.

In the most prominent case, a man selling illegal cigarettes died in July 2014 after being subdued by several police officers. Eric Garner's violent arrest was filmed by a bystander.

A decision not to criminally charge the officers led to widespread protests across the city.


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