NYPD Officers Mistakenly Tackle And Handcuff Ex-Tennis Star James Blake
Ex-tennis star James Blake was reportedly tackled and handcuffed outside the Grand Hyatt hotel in midtown Manhattan yesterday after police mistook him for an identity theft suspect.
Blake, who is in New York for the US Open, told New York Daily News he was waiting for a car when he was tackled by a cop in plain clothes and subsequently slammed to the ground before four other officers came to assist in the arrest.
The former number four ranked tennis star intimated to the Daily News, despite the five officers all being white, he was more offended by the aspect of excessive force used.
I don't know if it's as simple as that. To me it's as simple as unnecessary police force, no matter what my race is. 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 was supposedly was waiting for a ride to take him to the site of the US Open in Flushing Meadows, where he was set to make appearances for Time Warner and take in the marquee match between Serena and Venus Williams.
The officers told him he was handcuffed after two people identified him as a suspect involved in an identity theft ring around the area on 42nd street where the Grand Hyatt is located.
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 be OK). It's blatantly unnecessary. You would think at some point they would get the memo that this isn't okay, but it seems that there's no stopping it.
Despite suffering a cut to his left elbow and bruises to his left leg, Blake was still able to make it to the US Open.
Blake also told the Daily News he was going to keep the incident quiet at first, but he decided to bring it public with a purpose.
I have resources to get to the bottom of this. I have a voice. But what about someone who doesn't have those resources and doesn't have a voice?
Blake says he was released after 15 minutes of being handcuffed.