The New York Police Department reportedly released video of former tennis star James Blake being thrown to the ground when he was mistaken for somebody else.
The incident happened Wednesday afternoon in New York when Blake was waiting outside of the Grand Hyatt Hotel when he was mistaken for a suspect in a credit card fraud.
Watch the security footage below, in which Blake is waiting outside the hotel when the arresting officer charges up out of nowhere, tackles him to the ground, then handcuffs him before picking him up and walking him away:
The New York Daily News reported the incident first. Blake said at the time, “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.”
Blake also said the arresting officer told him, “Don’t say a word.”
He was reportedly released when a former cop recognised him and alerted the arresting police.
Blake, who is black, said afterward that it was unnecessary police force, but also related to race:
“I don’t know if it’s as simple as that. To me it’s as simple as unnecessary police force, no matter what my race is. 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.”
New York Police Commissioner William Bratton told media on Thursday that he spoke to Blake and apologised for the incident.
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