James Blake on CNN: “I could have broken bones, a concussion or worse”
Former tennis star says cop should be fired for dishonoring badge
Officer, put on desk duty after Blake takedown, accused in two earlier lawsuits of using excessive force
What if he hadn’t been so passive, he says, with the stranger who rushed him without saying a word?
“I think about how scary it would have been had I put my arms up and done the normal reaction … to defend myself,” Blake told CNN’s Don Lemon on Saturday.
“If I had any sort of resistance, I wonder what could have happened. I could have broken bones, a concussion or worse.”
The athlete was waiting Wednesday for a car to pick him up and take him to the U.S. Open tennis tournament, where he’s doing corporate appearances. A surveillance video released by the NYPD shows Blake casually standing outside a Grand Hyatt hotel in Manhattan when the plainclothes cop rushes him and throws him to the ground, then handcuffs and leads him away. In the minute-long video, Blake doesn’t resist.
Blake, 35, told CNN that in the 10 to 15 minutes that he was detained, neither the cop who tackled him nor other officers present identified themselves as law enforcement or displayed their badges.
The NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau has interviewed Blake as part of an investigation and provided Blake’s attorney with a copy of the video.
Blake, once ranked No. 4 in the world, vowed in an earlier statement 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 called on the city “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 Saturday that he hasn’t decided whether to sue over what police described as a sting operation gone awry.
“I don’t want a lawsuit that says, ‘Here’s $5 million. Go away. We’re not going to talk about this again,'” he said. “I want to talk about this, open dialogue … about real solutions, accountability, about making sure that this isn’t going to happen.”
After calling Blake to apologize, both Mayor Bill de Blasio and police Comissioner William Bratton said in a statement Friday that the incident was being investigated “to determine what contributed to the …Read More