NYC Police Boss, Mayor Apologize to Ex-Tennis Pro for Arrest

11 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

De Blasio and Bratton Apologize for Arrest of James Blake, Ex-Tennis Pro.

NEW YORK — The New York City police commissioner and mayor offered apologies to tennis star James Blake Thursday as officials scrambled to deal with fallout from his mistaken arrest outside a Manhattan hotel. Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York City’s police commissioner apologized on Thursday for the mistaken arrest of James Blake, a retired top-10 professional tennis player, who said he was slammed to the ground outside his hotel in Midtown Manhattan after being confused for a suspect in a credit card fraud investigation. “I want to talk to him because I want to apologize to him on behalf of the City of New York,” Mr. de Blasio said in a television interview on Thursday. “This shouldn’t have happened and he shouldn’t have been treated that way.” Earlier, the police commissioner, William J. The officer who forcefully arrested Blake was also put on desk duty as the episode became a headache for the department at a time when the city is hosting the U.S. Blake, who is biracial, “to extend my apologies for the incident which he found himself involved in yesterday.” The undercover detective who detained Mr. He was standing outside the Grad Hyatt hotel around noon on Wednesday when he was incorrectly identified by two witnesses as being part of an Internet identity theft scheme.

Bratton, speaking at a news conference on Thursday, said he had concerns about “the inappropriateness of the amount of force that was used during the arrest.” An initial review of video evidence of the arrest, he said, led him to believe that it may have been excessive. Among those who buy into the mythic moral righteousness of our police forces, there is a belief that people of color need only be perfect little humans to cancel out the realities of a racist society.

It seems not even James Blake—who attended Harvard, overcame scoliosis and a broken neck to become a world-class tennis player, and is now a cancer research philanthropist—can be that perfect. After seeing a security video of the officer grabbing Blake, forcing him to the sidewalk and rear-handcuffing him, the commissioner said, “I have concerns about the takedown.” Blake’s last tournament as a professional was the 2013 U.S. Part of the investigation will focus on the use of force employed during the incident and when exactly the undercover officer identified himself during the takedown. The officer has not been interviewed by police, which is common during these investigations. “I did not see anything I would describe as resisting [arrest],” Bratton said, during the 20-minute press conference at police headquarters in lower Manhattan.

Considering that white people are this country’s majority group at 63 percent of the population, but are only 32 percent of the U.S. male prison population, there’s a choice to be made between two possible conclusions: either this country targets Latinos and black people for mass incarceration or Latinos and black people are pathological criminals compared to this country’s heavenly white folk. What’s striking is that given the ongoing severity of disproportionate incarceration, it seems our society is quite content believing in the imagined truth of the latter.

Detectives set up a controlled delivery at the hotel and spotted Blake, who bears a “remarkable” likeness to one of the subjects provided to police in the investigation. Bratton’s response to Blake’s mistaken arrest. “Sorry,” he said. “Race has nothing at all to do with this.” The supposed truth is that the police are just focused on arresting the criminals—who just so happen to be black and Latino far more often than not. Bratton, who was recently profiled in The New Yorker, talked about his approach to racial issues after the death of Eric Garner. “Every black I’ve ever dealt with tells me that they tell their kids the same thing.

That Bratton felt the need to dismiss the possibility sans investigation speaks to why the problem of racial profiling remains intractable: no one wants to admit the problem exists. Then, he said, an officer “picked me up and body slammed me and put me on the ground and told me to turn over and shut my mouth, and put the cuffs on me.” Mr.

A British man, James Short, 27, staying in New York on a student visa, met the courier to get the delivery of shoes and was arrested, the police said. Police officials said the investigation would focus on what compelled the detective to use as much force as he did — whether experience in similar arrests, or an observation at the scene — and whether all the detectives involved told the truth about the encounter. Blake responded similarly, waving off the suggestion that he had been targeted because of his race, even though he told The Daily News a day earlier that “there’s probably a race factor involved.” He said he decided to speak publicly only after being persuaded by his wife, who has been a publicist. “She said, you know, ‘What if this happened to me?’ and immediately I was furious,” Mr. He reached No. 4 in the world in 2006, a stunning comeback considering the devastating setbacks he experienced two years earlier: He broke his neck in a practice and lost his father to cancer.

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