New York Police Chief Apologizes To James Blake

By Allyn Farach

Retired tennis star James Blake claimed that he was tackled outside of a Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York this week by a plainclothes officer.

Blake told other media outlets that he was acting nonviolently but was met with violence from officers after a sting operation mistakenly took Blake as a suspect.

“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 okay). 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,” Blake told the New York Daily News.

Blake further claims that he was released when a former officer recognized him and told the police who Blake was.

The situation has been embarrassing to the NYPD and its leadership.

“I spoke to Mr. Blake a short time ago and personally apologized for yesterday’s incident. Mr. Blake indicated he would be willing to meet with the Internal Affairs Bureau as our investigation continues,” NYPD Police Commissioner William J. Bratton said in a press release. “Additionally, he said he would be returning the Mayor’s earlier phone call to speak to him. Mr. Blake said he would like to meet with the Mayor and me at a future date, which we would be agreeable to.”

New York City mayor Bill DeBlasio has signaled his intention to talk to Blake about the matter.

It is unclear what role Blake’s arrest will have in the continued evolution of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Photo Credit: Josué Goge/Flickr (CC By 2.0)

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