In September 2015 an NYPD officer tackled and handcuffed James Blake outside a Manhattan hotel, mistaking the former American tennis player for a suspect in a credit card scam; a month later, an independent panel ruled that police used excessive force in the arrest. That panel, the Civilian Complaint Review Board, recommended a penalty of 10 lost vacation days for Officer James Frascatore. According to a report, Frascatore actually received half of that.
A disciplinary trial for Frascatore took place in September 2017, though the results were not made public due to state civil rights law. The New York Daily News reported today that in that trial Frascatore was found to have used excessive force, and in February, Police Commissioner James O’Neill gave the officer a penalty of a mere five lost vacation days.
Blake, who withdrew a potentially lucrative claim against the city on condition that it establish a legal fellowship to investigate police misconduct and advocate for victims of brutality, felt that the officer should have been fired, per the Daily News. From the report:
“Losing five vacation days for excessive force is a woefully inadequate penalty,” Blake’s lawyer Kevin Marino told The News.
“Far from serving as a deterrent, a trivial penalty of that type would seem to be encouraging those inclined toward excessive force to go right on doing it.”