Not every resident of or visitor to New York City sustains injuries by being tackled by undercover police and handcuffed. A known criminal, perhaps… whether trading in opium or loose cigarettes.
- Earning millions of dollars[ref]The Richest[/ref] for his prowess in the sport
- Having endorsements with brands that include Luxilon and Tourna[ref]Tennis Warehouse[/ref]
- Established a Research Fund at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center[ref]Sloan Kettering[/ref]
We learned on CNN[ref]CNN[/ref] that this was exactly what happened recently. The 35 year old top-10 tennis star James Blake exited the Grand Hyatt Hotel[ref]New York Daily News[/ref] in Midtown Manhattan, awaiting the hired car that was to transport him to a Time Warner Cable event at the U.S. Open.
- Blake exited the hotel and began texting on his phone. He looked up and saw someone in shorts and a T-shirt racing at him.[ref]New York Daily News[/ref]
- Five white plainclothes police charged straight at him, without any verbal warning. He was knocked down onto the East 42nd Street concrete, sustaining a cut to his left elbow and bruises to his left leg, and presenting reddening of his right eye[ref]New York Daily News[/ref]
- None of the officers identified themselves. None flashed a badge.
- One officer barked at Blake, “Don’t say a word!”[ref]New York Daily News[/ref]
- A retired NYPD officer, who happened to be near the scene, informed the undercover officers on top of Blake, “That is James Blake, the tennis player.”[ref]New York Daily News[/ref]
- Blake had his hands cuffed behind his back for fifteen minutes[ref]ABC News[/ref] before being released[ref]CNN[/ref].
- After sustaining injuries inflicted by the officers, Blake was told that he was misidentified as a cellphone thief[ref]New York Post[/ref]. Blake asked the officers to check his identification (Drivers License and U.S. Open Credential.[ref]New York Daily News[/ref]
- Verifying Blake’s identity, he was released without apology.[ref]BBC[/ref]
- Reportedly, the two actual criminals were tourists from England who bear no resemblance to Blake[ref]CNN[/ref]
- Apparently, an attempt by the six officers to cover-up the incident was identified. This, according to the commissioner, represents a breach of NYPD practices[ref]New York Times[/ref].
New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton initially defended police, but later admitted the need to apologize[ref]CNN[/ref].
The following video from ABC News gives you the big picture plus an interview with Blake:
New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton extended “…a personal apology’’ to Blake: