Video shows NY cop slamming ex-tennis pro to the ground

Retired professional tennis player James Blake (above) was mistaken for a suspect in a fraud case. In the video (left), officer James Frascatore (in white shirt) is seen wrapping an arm around Mr Blake's neck and throwing him onto the sidewalk.
Retired professional tennis player James Blake was mistaken for a suspect in a fraud case. In the video (above), officer James Frascatore (in white shirt) is seen wrapping an arm around Mr Blake's neck and throwing him onto the sidewalk.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY
Retired professional tennis player James Blake (above) was mistaken for a suspect in a fraud case. In the video, officer James Frascatore is seen wrapping an arm around Mr Blake's neck and throwing him onto the sidewalk.
Retired professional tennis player James Blake (above) was mistaken for a suspect in a fraud case. In the video, officer James Frascatore is seen wrapping an arm around Mr Blake's neck and throwing him onto the sidewalk.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

NEW YORK • Video footage of the mistaken arrest of retired professional tennis player James Blake has been released by the New York police.

In the video, an officer, Mr James Frascatore, is seen running at Mr Blake, who is casually leaning against a beam outside the Grand Hyatt Hotel. He was on his way to a corporate appearance at the US Open.

Mr Frascatore wraps an arm around Mr Blake's neck and throws him onto the sidewalk. He then cuffs Mr Blake's hands behind him as he puts his knee on the sports celebrity's back.

Mr Blake does not raise his hands or resist.

The police later said he was mis- identified as a suspect in a fraud case. New York Police Commissioner William Bratton said Mr Blake looked like the suspect's "twin" and later apologised to him, reported the BBC. Mayor Bill de Blasio has also apologised to Mr Blake.

Mr Frascatore has been stripped of his gun and badge, and Mr Bratton said the officer might have acted too aggressively in arresting Mr Blake.

Mr Frascatore has been placed on desk duty while the case is being investigated.

According to New York radio station WYNC, he has been the subject of five civilian complaints in the past, including the use of excessive force.

"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, who is of mixed race, has alleged the use of improper force by the police officer when he was slammed to the ground during the incident on Wednesday, reported the BBC.

He said that, while race may have contributed to the incident, his primary concern was the amount of force used and 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," Mr Blake said in a statement on Friday.

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

NEW YORK TIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 13, 2015, with the headline 'Video shows NY cop slamming ex-tennis pro to the ground'. Print Edition | Subscribe