Former Tennis Star James Black Tackled By NYPD
Former tennis champ James Blake was headed to the U.S. Open Wednesday when five white NYPD officers slammed him to the ground in a case of mistaken identity.
The 35-year-old was standing outside of his hotel waiting for his ride as a cop, who was not in uniform, charged at him.
He forced him to the sidewalk and handcuffed him without warning, prompting four other policemen to join him.
The officers, who were in the area searching for a credit card fraud suspect, did not release Blake until an ex-cop, who recognized the athlete, revealed his true identity.
“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,” Blake told the NY Daily News.
He continued, “You’d think they could say, ‘Hey, we want to talk to you. We are looking into something.’ I was just standing there. I wasn’t running. It’s not even close (to being okay). It’s blatantly unnecessary.”
During the incident, the Harvard-educated man suffered a cut on his left elbow and bruises and scratches on his left leg, and he admitted that “it was definitely scary and definitely crazy.”
Although the policemen apologized for their error, minus the first cop that tackled him, Blake, who eventually made it to the tournament, is requesting an official apology from the NYPD and repercussions for those involved.