Former tennis star James Blake, who was violently tackled by a New York city police officer, is adamant that the cop involved should be fired.
Blake was body-slammed and forced to the ground by plainclothes officer James Frascatore. The latter had apparently confused the athlete with a suspect wanted in a fraud case.
The officer's violence was met with backlash, and the NYC mayor along with Commissioner William Bratton issued an apology to Blake. The resentment against the police officer only increased after certain facts about his record came to light: Frascatore has been named in several civil rights lawsuit for excessive use of power, and has four civilian complaints lodged against him in his four-year career.
"I don’t think he deserves to have a badge. I hope he can never do that to anyone else and get away with it," Blake told the New York Post. "I hope he can never do that again under the shield of the New York Police Department."
Blake's manhandling, in yet another case of rough treatment meted out to unarmed African-Americans, was caught on surveillance footage. It shows Frascatore spinning Blake around before finally throwing him to the ground. Blake also alleges that contrary to Frascatore's statement, the officer never informed Blake he was a police officer.
"At no time did he let me know he was police officer. He just threw the cuffs on me and said, 'Stand up,'" Blake said on Good Morning America. The footage, although it does not have an audio, largely corroborates Blake's version of events.
Commissioner Bratton denies any influence of race, although Blake insists "there is a race factor involved."
"I'm sure this isn't the first time police brutality has happened and I'm sure it's not the last time," Blake said. "So I want them to apologize to the people that this happens to that don't have the same voice that I have."