Tennis Star James Blake Handcuffed By Cops On Way To U.S. Open
Former tennis star James Blake was handcuffed by New York City police on Wednesday as he was making his way to the U.S. Open. Blake was misidentified as a suspect in an identity theft ring operating around the Manhattan hotel where he was staying.
The New York Daily News reports that Blake was waiting outside his hotel for a car to drive him to Flushing Meadows, where the U.S. Open is being held, when a plainclothes officer tackled him. Blake was then handcuffed and detained him for about 15 minutes, while four additional cops surrounded him. Eventually, the officers realized that the Harvard-educated tennis player wasn’t the person they were looking for. Blake suffered cuts to his elbow and bruises to his legs. He later told the paper it was “scary” and “crazy.”
Blake, who’s African-American, told reporters that he doesn’t necessarily believe he was targeted solely because of his race. “I don’t know if it’s as simple as that,” Blake explained. “To me it’s as simple as unnecessary police force, no matter what my race is. 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 fully cooperated with the officers, despite them having no reason to apprehend him. After checking his ID and realizing they had made a mistake, Blake revealed that some of the officers apologized, except for the first officer who tackled and cuffed him. The former tennis star would like the NYPD to apologize, and that there be repercussions for the officers who wrongly detained him.
Although shaken up by the incident, Blake made it to the U.S. Open.