The New York Police Department and Mayor Bill de Blasio have issued an apology to former tennis pro James Blake. On Wednesday, Blake was forced to the ground and handcuffed in front of a hotel in New York City.
Blake, who is biracial, was leaving the Grand Hyatt Hotel to head to the U.S. Open, where he has been making appearances all week. He told the New York Daily News that he initially thought it was a friend running over to say hi. He was soon face-down on the ground. Blake was reportedly released when one of the officers recognized him.
“I want to talk to him because I want to apologize to him on behalf of the City of New York,” De Blasio said in a television interview Thursday. “This shouldn’t have happened and he shouldn’t have been treated that way.”
NYPD commissioner William Bratton also apologized Thursday, saying that Blake was mistaken for a criminal involved in a credit card fraud case. He said he wants “to extend my apologies for the incident which he found himself involved in yesterday.”
The officer who detained Blake has been placed on desk duty, according to the New York Times. That action was reportedly taken after video of the incident showed "the inappropriateness of the amount of force that was used during the arrest.”
Here is video of the arrest:
Once the No. 4-ranked player in the world, Blake retired in 2013. He said he considered keeping the incident quiet, but changed his mind after discussing it with his wife.
“I have resources to get to the bottom of this. I have a voice,” Blake said. “But what about someone who doesn't have those resources and doesn’t have a voice?"