N.Y. / Region
Video Video footage released by the New York Police Department shows Officer James Frascatore’s rough handling of the retired tennis star while mistakenly arresting him this week.
By BENJAMIN MUELLER and NATE SCHWEBER
September 11, 2015
In 2012, a Queens man said, Officer James Frascatore pulled him over for a broken taillight, opened his car door and punched him three times in the mouth, unprovoked.
The following year, another Queens resident recalled, Officer Frascatore beat him in his driveway during an arrest after he started to go into his home to retrieve an identification card.
Those accounts, both made by black men, came to light after a rough arrest by the same officer on Wednesday in which he wrapped an arm around the neck of the retired tennis star James Blake and threw him to the sidewalk after mistaking him for a suspect in a credit card fraud investigation.
The New York Police Department released surveillance video of the arrest on Friday, offering a minute-long glimpse of the manhandling of a biracial celebrity by a white plainclothes officer that compelled police officials to swiftly strip the officer of his gun and badge.
Police Officer James Frascatore has been stripped of his gun and badge after the mistaken arrest of James Blake.
Mr. Blake was leaning against a mirrored beam outside a hotel in Midtown Manhattan, his hands clasped and motionless, as he waited to be taken to a corporate appearance at the United States Open. Officer Frascatore, 38, rushed into the video’s frame, twisting Mr. Blake’s left arm, grabbing the back of his neck and pulling him face down onto the sidewalk.
He finished by digging his knee into Mr. Blake’s back and handcuffing him, never easing up even though the Harvard-educated athlete barely flinched as he let himself be tackled.
“As I told the commissioner, I am 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,” Mr. Blake said in a statement on Friday, calling for the city to make “a significant financial commitment.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner William J. Bratton, in a joint response, noted the city’s $29 million investment in retraining police officers and pledged “to vigorously implement these reforms …Read More