Police in New York have released video footage showing the controversial take down of black former tennis star being “taken down” by a plainclothes officer.
As the outcry continued to grow over the accidental arrest of James Blake – police said he was mistaken for a suspect – officials released footage showing the detention of the former star as he stood outside his New York hotel.
In the the video, Mr Blake, 35, is seen standing in front of a column outside the Grand Hyatt hotel Manhattan on Wednesday when Officer James Frascatore rushed to him and pulled him to the ground.
The officer can be seen grabbing hold of Mr Blake by his left arm, shoving him against a glass door and then throwing him onto the pavement. The officer can then be seen to put his knee into the back of Mr Blake and handcuff him behind his back.
The video shows several passers-by stopping to look, with one older women briefly approaching and pointing at the pair before walking away.
The release of the 59-second video came as more details emerged about the apparently checkered history of Mr Frascatore, who is currently defending himself in four civil lawsuits claiming that he used excessive force during bogus arrests.
The officer has been stripped of his badge and gun pending a probe by the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau.
The city police commissioner Bill Bratton said he had spoken with Mr Blake and “personally apologised” on Thursday afternoon. He had also officered the apologies of New York’s mayor, Bill de Blasio.
Mr Blake told reporters of the incident: “I don't know if it's as simple as [a race issue.] 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.”Reuse content