The New York City police officer who tackled former tennis pro James Blake because he thought Blake was someone else won’t have a public disciplinary trial, according to multiple reports. Officer James Frascatore’s disciplinary trial on a charge of excessive force was scheduled to start yesterday, but the New York Times reported that Frascatore had reached a deal. DNAinfo later confirmed that a deal was in place.
The Times’ source spoke anonymously because the person was described as “not authorized to discuss the case publicly.” DNAinfo reported that the Civil Complaint Review Board wouldn’t confirm the settlement, but described the hearing as “postponed indefinitely.” Details of the deal, however, might never become public. From the Times:
The terms of Officer Frascatore’s agreement with the review board were not disclosed. His punishment may remain secret given that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration has adopted the stance that police officers’ disciplinary records are shielded from public release by a state civil rights statute protecting their personnel records. The administration’s reading of the statute, known as 50-a, was recently affirmed by a state appeals court, upsetting advocates of police transparency.
The wrongful arrest of Blake happened in 2015 when NYPD officers were investigating a credit card fraud case that they believed involved packages delivered to the Grand Hyatt Hotel. Police mistook Blake for someone else who, the Times reported, was “an Australian businessman who, it turned out, was not connected to the suspects or to their scheme.”