After retired tennis star James Blake was tackled to the ground and handcuffed by plainclothes NYPD police on Wednesday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio apologized for the sting that went awry, the New York Daily News reports
The incident caused the ex-tennis player bruises to his left leg and a cut on his elbow.
"I want to make very clear I've reached out to Mr. Blake and I want to talk to him because I want to apologize to him on behalf of the City of New York," de Blasio said in a wide-ranging exclusive interview with NY1 Political Anchor Errol Louis.
that Blake, 35, is biracial and was arrested outside the Grand Hyatt Hotel as he was waiting for a car to pick him up to make an appearance at the 2015 U.S. Open.
Blake said he spent 10 minutes in handcuffs before the police realized they had the wrong guy and also told the Daily News that "there's probably a race factor involved, but no matter what, there's no reason for anybody to do that to anybody. ... I was just standing there. I wasn't running. It's not even close [to being OK]. It's blatantly unnecessary."
CNN reports that the sting was set up after a company delivered goods on demand and notified police that a group of people had purchased $18,000 in items using fraudulent credit cards.
Nonetheless, the mayor said, "This shouldn’t have happened and he shouldn't have been treated this way."
De Blasio added, "I think it is a reminder of why we have to continue to make reforms. We are very adamant, and Commissioner Bratton and I have spoken about this many times, that we are going to constantly improve the training of the men and women of the NYPD to focus on using only the force that's needed in each situation."
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