Retired tennis star James Blake is speaking out against the NYPD officer who used excessive force against him last week, stating the cop should be fired for “tarnishing his badge.”
In an interview with the The New York Times, Blake opened up about the incident that left him embarrassed and shaken up. While Blake, who was in NYC to attend the US Open, was standing outside of his 42nd Street hotel Wednesday, he was tackled by plain clothes officer James Frascatore. Frascatore believed Blake was a suspect in a major credit card fraud ring.
Footage of the incident was released on Friday, revealing Frascatore never informed Blake he was a police officer. For this and many other reasons, Blake believes the cop isn’t deserving of the NYPD badge.
“He shouldn’t have a badge,” Blake told the New York Times on Saturday, “because in my opinion what he’s doing is tarnishing that badge. I’ve never experienced that kind of violence in my life. I think there needs to be a public apology to all of them, all of those people who don’t have the same stature I have,” Mr. Blake said.
Since the incident, Blake has taken on a new role in discussing police practices and brutality. Speaking with NBC News, Blake revealed he’s received letters and messages from families sharing similar stories. For his case, Blake — who is biracial — said he does believe race played a factor in Frascatore’s actions.
“I probably even wouldn’t be so indignant about it, if it wasn’t so obvious,” Blake said. “He picked me up and body-slammed me. He put me on the ground, told me to turn over and shut my mouth and put the cuffs on.”
Blake has heard from Mayor Bill de Blasio, who apologized on behalf of the NYPD. Days after his encounter with Frascatore, fans gave him a standing ovation at the men’s semifinal match at the US Open on Friday. During an interview with Robin Roberts last week, Blake said he hasn’t directly heard from the NYPD.
Meanwhile, the city is standing by Frascatore after another man claimed he was verbally assaulted by the officer during an arrest. Medic Stefon Luckey identified Frascatore as the cop who falsely arrested him in a Queens deli in May 2013. In his multi-million dollar lawsuit, Luckey says his arrest was racially profiled. He was allegedly pepper sprayed by officers while Frascatore punched him twice in the stomach and called him a “f- -king n- - - -r.”
City lawyer Elissa Jacobs claims Frascatore’s memo book shows he was inside the 113th Precinct stationhouse from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. processing an arrest. Luckey’s incident with the cops occurred around 1 a.m. However, the officer’s chances of winning the case might be slim — Police Commissioner Bill Bratton told reporters Frascatore falsified records in the James Blake incident.
Regardless of the claims, Jacobs told a judge on Friday the two incidents are no way related, and Luckey reportedly didn’t name Frascatore as a suspect until last week.
“We’ve already made that decision about this incident, which, frankly, I don’t believe (Frascatore) had any involvement in the first place.” she said. “We see them as separate incidents. Whether any discipline is taken in the (Blake) incident, I don’t believe it impacts on what a jury may or may not think of him in this case.”
Frascatore is also a defendant in three other suits alleging excessive force.
SOURCE: The New York Times | VIDEO CREDIT: NDN
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