After former tennis champion James Blake was wrongly targeted by five NY police officers, he’s looking for something simple, but significant from the department: a sincere apology.
Update: NYPD commissioner William Bratton has apologized to James for the incident, stating that he had been attempting to contact him on September 10 “to extend my apologies for the incident which he found himself involved in yesterday.” The undercover detective who targeted James was stripped of his badge and gun, and placed on desk duty.
James Blake, 35, isn’t demanding money or a lawsuit from the NYPD after being tackled and handcuffed by five officers on September 9; he simply wants the officers to apologize for wrongly identifying him as a criminal. What a mistake!
Five plainclothes NYPD officers allegedly threw James to the ground, handcuffed him and detained him for 15 minutes because they thought he was a credit card fraud suspect, according to the tennis great — who was once ranked No. 4 in the world!
James spoke to reporters following the incident outside the Grand Hyatt Hotel on East 42nd Street, where his detainment occurred, and told them that he wanted an apology from the officers.
“It shouldn’t have happened,” James told reporters from ABC News and NBC News, among others. “It’s something we’ll deal with with the police and we’ll find out what they have to say internally. Hopefully there’s video of it and people can see what happened.”
Hear, hear, James! The former tennis star was waiting outside his hotel on September 9 for a car to take him to the U.S. Open, when he looked up from his phone to see a man in normal clothes running at him, he told the NY Daily News.
The man, who wasn’t wearing a badge, reportedly tackled him, and told him not to speak. James said he would cooperate as four other officers reportedly joined the first. The officers realized after detaining James for 15 minutes that they had the wrong man, and released him immediately.
The police commissioner is investigating the incident, and said that James “has a right to be upset.” HollywoodLifers, do you think the officers will apologize to James? Tell us in the comments and take our poll.
— Samantha Wilson