New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton publicly apologized for the mistaken arrest of former tennis star James Blake.
On Wednesday afternoon, Blake was tackled and handcuffed outside of the Grand Hyatt Hotel, after police thought he matched the description of the suspect they were looking for. Blake was handcuffed for several minutes before the police came to the realization that they had the wrong man.
The cops had been conducting an investigation at the Hyatt Hotel after having been tipped off that a group of people had been using fraudulent credit cards to make expensive purchases. Blake just happened to be outside of the hotel waiting for a car to take him to the US Open.
Despite what seems like an honest mistake, especially when you get a look at the suspect’s photo in comparison to Blake’s, the tennis player may have other ideas about his attack.
A bi-racial James Blake, tackled by a white officer, believes that the attack was racially motivated. He told the Daily News, “in my mind there’s probably a race factor involved, but no matter what there’s no reason for anybody to do that to anybody. I was just standing there, I wasn’t running. It’s not even close. It’s blatantly unnecessary.”
It probably doesn’t help the officer responsible for the tackle, 38-year-old James Frascatore, that he has a prior record including several civilian complaints and two lawsuits. One of those incidents includes the beating of Warren Diggs back in 2013.
However, Bratton assured that race was absolutely not a factor in detaining Blake. He said, “I don’t believe that race was a factor. This rush to put a race tag on it, I’m sorry that’s not involved in this at all.”
Quite frankly, the race accusation seems a little absurd given how much Blake looks like the suspect. However, given the fact that Blake was simply just standing outside of the hotel, there may not have been need for any kind of excessive force. Bottom line is, the incident was a mishap, the officer is now assigned to desk duty, and we can all move on.