Retired tennis star James Blake was violently assaulted outside his hotel in New York City by the NYPD on Wednesday. Blake, a former top five-ranked player, is African-American and offered his take on the incident, including its racial implications.
In an exclusive chat with the New York Daily News, Blake revealed what occurred on Sept. 8th as he waited outside of the Grand Hyatt in midtown Manhattan. Five White undercover officers allegedly tackled Blake to the ground, causing the 35-year-old to suffer cuts and bruises.
More from the Daily News:
The 35-year-old Blake, once ranked No. 4 in the world, suffered a cut to his left elbow and bruises to his left leg as the law enforcement quintet handcuffed and held him for 15 minutes outside the Grand Hyatt.
“It was definitely scary and definitely crazy,” said Blake, adding that none of the men initially identified themselves as a police officer. His right eye appeared a bit red hours later at the hotel.
The cops were investigating a credit card fraud operation when they took Blake to the ground around noon.
The Harvard-educated Blake was only turned loose when a former cop recognized the man in cuffs and alerted the arresting officers, a police source said.
“That is James Blake, the tennis player,” the retiree told them. The first cop involved never apologized to Blake for the physical thumping or the brief arrest, the ex-player recounted.
Blake was en route to a corporate event at the US Open and was outside waiting for a ride to the venue. Blake claims the officers never apologized for roughing him up, and he added there may have been a “race factor” figuring into their aggressive actions.
The NYPD issued a brief statement about the altercation, with police commissioner William J. Bratton assuring CNN on Thursday morning that race had “nothing to do with” the assault. In full, Bratton commented:
“Let’s put that nonsense to rest right now,” Mr. Bratton said. “Race has nothing to do with this.”
The commissioner said that the police had a photograph of a suspect in the credit card fraud investigation, and that the man “looks like the twin brother of Mr. Blake.”
The officers who detained Mr. Blake acted on information from someone at the hotel who identified him as having bought a phone with false credit card information, Mr. Bratton said.
We’d like to see the photo of Mr. Blake’s “twin brother.” After the NYPD reviewed video of the incident, one of the officers involved was ultimately placed on desk duty. Does the punishment fit the crime?
Leave your thoughts below.
Retired Tennis Star James Blake Violently Assaulted By NYPD, Officer Involved Placed On Desk Duty was originally published on newsone.com