Police Apologize to Ex-Player James Blake Over Detention
James Blake was slammed to the ground and handcuffed and detained for 15 minutes in a case of mistaken identity.
New York Police Department commissioner William Bratton apologized Thursday to former tennis star James Blake for an officer's rough actions in detaining him in a case of mistaken identity.
Blake, who is black, said he was slammed to the ground and handcuffed and detained for 15 minutes.
The New York Times reported that the officer who stopped Blake has been placed on desk duty after a first review of video evidence raised Bratton's concern over "the inappropriateness of the amount of force that was used during the arrest."
Former world number four Blake, 35, was in town to make endorsement appearances at the US Open and was met by a group of police officers -- all of them white -- just outside his Manhattan hotel, who sought a person in connection with a fraud case.
Blake won 10 titles in his career, making almost $8 million. He last played on the tour in 2013.
In a statement, the US Tennis Association expressed its concern over the incident and its support for Blake.
"The USTA is deeply concerned about this troubling incident. James is the embodiment of a model citizen whose triumphs on and off the court continue to inspire tennis fans and non-fans alike. We will continue to offer our support to James in any way we can as this investigation unfolds," the statement said.
Blake said he had suffered cuts to his leg and elbow during the incident.
"It was definitely scary and definitely crazy," said Harvard-educated Blake.
"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,
"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."