NEW YORK -- The New York City Police Department has released video footage of the arrest Wednesday of former tennis professional James Blake.
The video depicts Blake standing alone in front of the Grand Hyatt hotel on 42nd Street, when an officer grabs him and drags him to the ground, then handcuffs him and leads him off-camera. Blake does not appear to resist.
Blake reportedly told officers to check his identification, and he was later released. The NYPD has apologized for the incident and the officer who arrested him, James Frascatore, has reportedly been placed on modified duty.
Blake, 35, was arrested in what the NYPD has called a case of mistaken identity. A department spokesperson said Thursday that officers were looking for a man they believed to be involved in a credit card theft case and who looked like Blake. According to the New York Times, the other man was later deemed to be unconnected to the case.
According to the Associated Press, Frascatore has been the subject of multiple complaints, including five in a seven-month period in 2013, and is currently the subject of two civil rights lawsuits involving men who claim they were beaten, pepper sprayed and falsely arrested by the 38-year-old.
Blake released a statement about the incident Friday, saying that he is "determined to use my voice to turn this unfortunate incident into a catalyst for change in the relationship between the police and the public they serve."
He stated that Frascatore did not identify himself as a police officer when he accosted him on the sidewalk, nor did he ask Blake his name.
"While I continue to believe the vast majority of our police officers are dedicated public servants who conduct themselves appropriately, I know that what happened to me is not uncommon," read the statement. "I am calling upon the City of New York to make a significant financial commitment to improving that relationship, particularly in those neighborhoods where incidents of the type I experienced occur all too frequently."
Blake said that NYPD Commissioner William Bratton has agreed to meet with him to discuss ideas to further this cause.
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