NYPD officers were left seriously red faced and embarrassed after arresting former tennis star James Blake.
The former player, who was ranked fourth in the world at one point, was in New York for the US Open, and was tackled by officers outside the Grand Hyatt hotel in midtown Manhattan, after being mistaken for a thief.
Blake expressed his disgust at the force used by officers, after being slammed to the ground by one officer in plain clothes and then surrounded by four others – all of whom were white.
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.
You’d think they could say, ‘Hey, we want to talk to you. We are looking into something.’ I was just standing there. I wasn’t running. It’s not even close (to be OK).
It’s blatantly unnecessary. You would think at some point they would get the memo that this isn’t okay, but it seems that there’s no stopping it.
He was released after 15 minutes of being handcuffed, and went public with the story, despite initially deciding to keep quiet.
Blake has now been apologised to by New York officials.