NYPD Commissioner Apologizes to James Blake For Mistaken Identity

New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton, James Blake

NYPD Commissioner Apologizes to James Blake For Mistaken Identity

William Bratton said the ex-tennis star will also meet with Internal Affairs.

Published September 11, 2015

James Blake got the apology he deserved.

ESPN is reporting that New York City police commissioner William Bratton apologized to the ex-tennis star Thursday, the day after he was thrown to the ground and handcuffed by cops in a case of mistaken identity.

"I spoke to Mr. Blake a short time ago and personally apologized for yesterday's incident," Bratton said in a statement to the media Thursday. "Mr. Blake indicated he would be willing to meet with the Internal Affairs Bureau as our investigation continues. Additionally, he said he would be returning the Mayor's earlier phone call to speak to him. Mr. Blake said he would like to meet with the Mayor [Bill de Blasio] and me at a future date, which we would be agreeable to."

Mayor de Blasio already expressed remorse for the situation, telling NY1: "This shouldn't have happened, and he shouldn't have been treated this way."

Earlier Thursday, Bratton was still trying to get a hold of Blake, before finally reaching him.

Blake was on his way to the U.S. Open in Flushing, New York on Wednesday, when he was mistaken for a suspect in an identity theft ring. He was thrown to the concrete outside of Manhattan's Grand Hyatt New York hotel and handcuffed. The plainclothes officer never identified himself as a cop and didn't have a badge.

During an interview with ABC's Good Morning America on Thursday, Blake said he hesitated to speak about the incident with the media, until he talked with his wife.

"She said, 'You know, what if this happened to me?' And immediately I was furious because I thought about what I would be thinking if someone did that to my wife," he said. "[If] someone tackled her in broad daylight, paraded her around in a busy crowded sidewalk in New York City with handcuffs, with her cuffed behind her back and taking away her dignity, and I just I couldn't accept that and I know that a lot of people have no voice to have any recourse, and I'm lucky enough to have the opportunity to be sitting here with you to be able to tell this story and let people know this happens too often."

The officer involved, identified by the New York Daily News as James Frascatore, has been placed on modified assignment.

"My concern is that after the release there's department protocols that should have been followed but apparently were not," Bratton said Thursday. "Mr. Blake has made a number of comments to the press. That's how we became aware of the matter."

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(Photos from left: Spencer Platt/Getty Images, Rob Kim/Getty Images)

Written by Mark Lelinwalla


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