Retired tennis player James Blake being the victim of racial profiling — or mistaken identity as the NYPD called it — made national headlines back in September 2015.
Blake, who's biracial, was on his way to the 2015 U.S. Open when a white police officer dressed in plainclothes tackled and cuffed him in front of a Midtown Manhattan hotel, mistaking him for a suspect involved in a fraudulent credit-card scheme. Blake suffered cuts and bruises due to the force police used on him and eventually received apologies from NYC mayor Bill de Blasio and then-NYPD commissioner William Bratton.
Now, nearly two years later, the cop who tackled Blake to the ground during that notorious incident has received his punishment. But we don't know what it is.
The New York Times reported that officer James Frascatore, 40, who was facing a dismissal following the Blake incident, has reached a deal that allows him to escape a public disciplinary trial hearing, which was set for Monday, on excessive force charges.
Frascatore's punishment is unknown and may stay that way, considering Mayor de Blasio allows police officers' disciplinary records to be protected from being publicly release. That and the Times reports that the terms of Frascatore's agreement with the Civilian Complaint Review Board weren't disclosed.
Fair or not?
The newspaper further reports that at least seven people had accused Frascatore of abuse in the past and that New York City paid $169,000 last year to a Queens man, who alleged that the same officer punched him and used a racial slur against him in 2012.
At the time of his incident with Frascatore in September 2015, Blake, then 35, now 37, said he was roughed up despite cooperating with police.
“You’d think they could say, ‘Hey, we want to talk to you. We are looking into something,'" he told the New York Daily News at the time. "I was just standing there. I wasn’t running. It’s not even close [to being 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. I have resources to get to the bottom of this. I have a voice. But what about someone who doesn't have those resources and doesn’t have a voice?”
He later said at the time, as reported by ESPN: "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. For that reason, I am calling upon the City of New York to make a significant financial commitment to improving that relationship, particularly in those neighborhoods where incidents of the type I experienced occur all too frequently."
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(Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)