Footage was released on Friday by The New York City Police Department (NYPD) showing the former tennis star James Blake being mistreated by an undercover police officer after being mistakenly identified by a witness as suspect in a fraud ring.
The security camera video showed the former world’s fourth player waiting in front of a Manhattan hotel’s entrance. He was waiting for a taxi to go to the US Open tennis tournament for a scheduled corporate appearance.
Blake, a 35-year-old black man, was slammed down to the ground by the white officer with no warning or identification.
Video of James Blake being assaulted and arrested by the NYPD. James was literally just chilling. pic.twitter.com/rn1HgIBV9P
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) September 11, 2015
After interviewing Blake, The NYPD said in a brief statement "The investigation is still ongoing,"
Blake said in a statement released by his lawyer Kevin Marino the way he was treated “is not uncommon”. The incident comes after a series of incidents involving excessive police force against the public and killings of unarmed black men by white police officers which sparked protests across the US.
Both NYPD Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and Mayor Bill de Blasio have publicly apologised to Blake for what happened.
"But extending courtesy to a public figure mistreated by the police is not enough. As I told the Commissioner, I am determined to use my voice to turn this unfortunate incident into a catalyst for change in the relationship between the police and the public they serve," Blake said.
Blake was released after being held for 15 minutes in custody but according to Associated France Press he suffered a cut to his left elbow and bruises to his left leg.