NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton has personally apologized to James Blake after an officer tackled and roughed up the former tennis pro outside his Manhattan hotel Wednesday, but more details are leaking about the identity theft sting that nabbed the wrong black guy, and it looks like a clusterfuck.
The officer who took down Blake has reportedly been placed on desk duty, according to the New York Times. Per the New York Daily News, the cop’s name is James Frascatore. He never told his bosses about the wrong arrest, and actually has a history of allegations of police misconduct from 2012 and 2013. WNYC News published a story in December of 2014 detailing two complaints accusing Frascatore of abusing his power:
In 2012, he pulled over Leroy Cline for allegedly driving with a busted taillight. Frascatore asked for Cline’s ID.
“I rolled my window down,” Cline said in an interview with WNYC. “He said, ‘License and registration.’ I said ‘Officer, what am I being pulled over for?’ He completely ignored me and said ‘License, registration.’ I said, ‘Officer what am I being pulled over for?’”
Cline is accused of attacking the 6-foot-three, 220-pound officer and biting Frascatore’s fist. Cline, of course, has a different story.
“That’s when he opened my car door and gave me three straight shots to my mouth,” he said.
What about the actual suspect? Bratton admitted that the man in question looks like Blake’s “twin brother,” but the NYPD wouldn’t show the photo it used to make that comparison. TMZ, however, claimed it acquired the photo, and there’s a similarity:
This would be somewhat understandable, providing that Blake’s twin brother was actually the suspect. He wasn’t:
Mr. Bratton said the team of six undercover detectives involved in detaining Mr. Blake — all of whom were white — failed to report the incident, a breach of department practices.
The detectives who approached Mr. Blake were relying in part on an Instagram photo of someone believed to be involved in a credit card fraud ring that Mr. Bratton said looked like “the twin brother” of the former tennis star. That person turned out to have nothing to do with the scheme, police officials said, and they refused to make the photo public.
Blake has been adamant the whole time that he doesn’t think the police were racist, only excessively aggressive. It appears they were also really bad at this sting.
The police reportedly have video of the arrest, but won’t release it. If you or someone you know were there when Blake was arrested, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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