United States

James Blake Agrees Not to Sue New York City in Exchange for Fellowship

What to Know

  • Tennis star James Blake was tackled outside a Manhattan hotel on Sept. 9, 2015, by a police officer and handcuffed
  • Police said Blake had been mistakenly identified as as being part of a cellphone fraud scheme
  • Surveillance video surfaced from outside the hotel that showed officer James Frascatore grabbing Blake's arm and yanking him to the ground

Tennis star James Blake says New York City's police watchdog has substantiated a complaint against officers Blake said tackled him during a mistaken arrest in September.

Blake filed a complaint with the Civilian Complaint Review Board against officers James Frascatore and Daniel Herzog, alleging they used excessive force and abused their power when they tackled him outside a Midtown Manhattan hotel on Wednesday, Sept. 9. The altercation was caught on surveillance camera.

Blake's attorney, Kevin Marino, released a letter addressed to him from Mina Malik, the executive director of the Civilian Complaint Review Board, substantiating the complaint. The letter noted that only the police commissioner has the authority to discipline a police officer, and the cops could face an administrative trial. 

Blake thanked the CCRB in a statement for its "quick and thorough review," adding "I have complete respect for the principle of due process and appreciate the efforts of the CCRB to advance this investigation.''

The CCRB said in a statement to NBC 4 New York it could not publicly reveal the results of its investigation, but that "our commitment remains to be a fair and vigilant resource for all people who have complaints about police misconduct, and to judge the cases based on thorough, even handed investigations which serve the public and officers alike."

The NYPD said in a statement it's aware of the CCRB's findings and that the department's internal review is ongoing.

The president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, the NYPD officers' union, maintained Frascatore used "an acceptable technique to gain compliance during a complex ongoing operation" and that "clearly the officer did not strike the individual or seek to harm him in any way." 

Surveillance video from a Manhattan hotel showed Frascatore charging at Blake on Sept. 9 before grabbing him by the arm and taking him to the ground. Authorities have said Frascatore has since been put on desk duty.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner William Bratton have both apologized to Blake.

The tennis star, who retired after the 2013 U.S. Open, has said Frascatore should lose his job.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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