NYPD Tackle James Blake, Former Tennis #4 Says ‘Probably a Race Factor Involved’

AP Photo
The Associated Press

A cop tackled former tennis player James Blake to the ground in New York City in a horrible case of mistaken identity. The cops confused the 2007 Davis Cup champion for a suspect in a credit card fraud investigation.

The cop wrestled him to the ground, which caused “a cut to his left elbow and bruises to his left leg.” At least five cops held him at the Grand Hyatt Hotel for 15 minutes. None of the cops identified themselves, according to Blake.

“It was definitely scary and definitely crazy,” He said to the New York Daily News. “In my mind there’s probably a race factor involved, but no matter what there’s no reason for anybody to do that to anybody.”

Blake is black and the five cops are white.

The cops released the former world number four after a former cop informed them they were holding James Blake.

Blake was at the hotel for a magazine interview. Afterwards, he headed outside to wait for a car and text on his phone. He looked up and happened to see a man rushing towards him.

“Maybe I’m naïve, but I just assumed it was someone I went to high school with or someone who was running at me to give me a big hug, so I smiled at the guy,” he explained.

He told the cops he would cooperate and asked why they were arresting him. All they said was he is “in safe hands.” Blake said he did not “feel very safe.” It turns out that a man near Blake was involved with the fraud.

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton announced a decision to “open an investigation” about the incident.

“The nature of what he described is not what we do, not what we’re supposed to do,” he told NY1. “I will not tolerate any type of excessive use of force on the part of my police, but as always, we have that saying, the first story is never the last story.”