Former tennis star attacked by NYPD on his way to watch US Open
A case of mistaken identity gone bad?
Retired tennis player James Blake suffered just that after being handcuffed and slammed to the ground by New York police officers while he was on the way to watch U.S. Open on Wednesday (Thursday Manila time).
In a report on New York Daily News, the 35-year-old was mistaken for the operator of an identity-theft ring, and was approached by five police officers in a civilian uniform.
Blake said that he was tackled by an officer, who he said wasn’t even wearing a badge, without any explanation and was later joined by four other officers.
“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 ok, but it seems that there’s no stopping it,” he said,
Blake, who suffered wounds from the assault, was taken into custody but was later released after the police realized their mistake 15 minutes after.
The NYPD has yet to issue a statement, but Blake is requesting an apology from the police and a reprimand to the officers involved.
Blake shrugged off the idea that the assault was due to his race.
“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,” he said. “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.”