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Retired Tennis Star James Blake: NYPD Officer James Frascatore Should Be Fired

Sun September 13 2015 7:15 pm
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James Blake was tackled, handcuffed and arrested by a plainclothes New York City Police Department officer James Frascatore in front of the Grand Hyatt New York on September 9, 2015. Blake was mistaken for a suspect of interest for a non-violent crime — a credit-card fraud suspect staying in the same hotel. Police had relied on a witness and photo of a suspect that looked strikingly similar to Blake. The actual suspect is accused of scamming $18,000 with credit card fraud from online company GoButler — a concierge company that provides services ranging from food delivery and travel bookings to restaurant reservations.

NYPD released video that showed a plain-clothes police officer slam former tennis star James Blake to the ground and put him in handcuffs

The president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association — the largest union representing members of the New York City Police Department — has defended the action of the police officer.

“The apprehension was made under fluid circumstances where the subject might have fled and the officer did a professional job of bringing the individual to the ground to prevent that occurrence.”

— Patrick Lynch, Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association New York City (police union)

New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton apologized for the mistake and stated the “arrest raised serious questions about [the officer’s] actions” but denied allegations of racism. Former New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told CNN that he thought the officer overreacted.

The violent arrest has motivated Blake to take a more active stand on police brutality against minorities. Blake has requested a meeting with NYPD William Bratton and New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio.

Blake suffered a broken neck during a practice tennis session when he slid on a clay playing surface into a net post.

Officer James Frascatore, 38, joined the NYPD four years ago, and has tallied five civilian complaints in a seven-month period, and two excessive-force lawsuits. One lawsuit of the excessive force lawsuits claims the grand-larceny cop was among several who “sadistically and maliciously” beat a man outside his Queens home in January 2013.

Former tennis star James Blake, whose caught-on-camera takedown by a New York City police officer during a mistaken arrest prompted apologies from the mayor and police commissioner, told The AP his arresting officer should be fired. (Sept. 12)

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