A New York City police officer was in hot water after he was caught on camera tackling former tennis pro James Blake to the ground and cuffing him outside a Manhattan hotel after he mistook the star for a credit-card scammer in 2015.
The officer involved is trying to play the victim role to cash in on his own violence and mistake.
Of course, Blake wasn’t a scammer, but the ordeal left him shaken, reported The Root.
“In my mind there’s probably a race factor involved, but no matter what, there’s no reason for anybody to do that to anybody,” Blake said in an interview in 2015. “You’d think they could say, ‘Hey, we want to talk to you. We are looking into something.’ I was just standing there. I wasn’t running. It’s not even close [to being OK]. It’s blatantly unnecessary.”
At the time, Blake said that the officer, James Frascatore, did not identify himself as an officer.
Now Frascatore is suing not only Blake, the person he assaulted and wrongfully arrested, but also the NYPD, saying that he was thrown under the bus following the incident, reported the New York Post.
“People need to realize that with the information I had at the time and the circumstances that presented themselves, it was the right call,” Frascatore said of the arrest.
“I have a family to go home to. I’m on a crowded sidewalk, with a possibly armed suspect in the middle of 42nd Street,” he added. “You have to take control of the situation. I can’t just be pulling out my gun.”
The suit names several others as defendants as well, including Complaint Review Board Director Tracy Catapano-Fox and HarperCollins Publishers, which released the former tennis player’s book, which discusses the incident.
Frascatore says his supervisors mistook Blake for a scammer, with the suit claiming that the former top-ranking tennis player closely resembled the suspect, who was said to be armed.
Frascatore said he removed Blake’s handcuffs and apologized as soon as he realized his mistake.
The lawsuit claims that the defendants made Frascatore out to be a “racist goon” and threw him under the bus because of the tennis pro’s celebrity status and pressure from the city’s “elite.”
The book, which Blake co-authored, Ways of Grace, also drew Frascatore’s attention. The cop said that he bought the book and became “very angry and upset while reading it,” and that he plans to sue for emotional distress and slander.
Frascatore, who is still on modified duty, said that since the encounter his life has been “a living hell.”
He is actually claiming the repercussions of his arrest and assault of an innocent man are other peoples’ fault. Frascatore is apparently having trouble living with his mistake, maybe he should consider a different profession.
(Article By Jeremiah Jones)