James Blake was scheduled to meet with Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton on Monday afternoon. The tennis star was mistakenly arrested by police officers a few weeks ago. He was waiting for a car to take him to the U.S. Open when a police officer tackled him. Blake said Officer James Frascatore — who is now on desk duty — should be fired. Blake told ABC News that the officer “picked me up and body-slammed me and put me on the ground and told me to turn over and shut my mouth, and put the cuffs on me.”
De Blasio later apologized, saying, “This shouldn’t have happened and he shouldn’t have been treated this way.” Before the meeting, the mayor told reporters, “I’m certainly going to let him know how much we are making fundamental reforms in the relationship between police and community.” Bratton added, “We’ll see what he has on his mind.”
Blake told the New York Daily News earlier this month that he feels obligated to fight for those who aren’t prominent enough to receive immediate apologies from politicians after dealing with excessive force. “I have resources to get to the bottom of this,” he said. “I have a voice. But what about someone who doesn’t have those resources and doesn’t have a voice? The real problem is that I was tackled for no reason and that happens to a lot of people who don’t have a media outlet to voice that to.”
Blake arrived at City Hall shortly before 4 p.m. and was immediately greeted by a crowd of reporters.