The New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton apologized on Thursday (September 10, 2015) to former tennis star James Blake, who was tackled and handcuffed by police in a sting operation that he had nothing to do with in a Manhattan hotel Wednesday.
Blake was standing in front of the Grand Hyatt Hotel Wednesday afternoon when he was tackled by a plainclothes police officer. Blake was waiting for a car to pick him up and take him to the U.S. Open tennis tournament, where he was doing corporate appearances.Blake spent five or 10 minutes with his hands cuffed behind his back before police realized they had the wrong guy and let him go.
“I spoke to Mr. Blake a short time ago and personally apologized for yesterday’s incident, Mr. Blake indicated he would be willing to meet with the Internal Affairs Bureau as our investigation continues.” said Bratton
According to Bratton, Blake also has plans to speak to Mayor de Blasio.
Bratton said the incident “should not have happened” but insisted that the arrest wasn’t race motivated.
At one point in his career, Blake was ranked the number 4 tennis player in the world. He told the Daily News and stated:
“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. … I was just standing there. I wasn’t running. It’s not even close (to being OK). It’s blatantly unnecessary.”