Today, the NYPD released the video footage of the latest assault on a famous African-American, former tennis star, James Blake. James claimed that on September 9 he was tackled out of the blue in front of the Grand Hyatt on 42nd street by a plain clothes officer. He was doing nothing more than waiting for his car when the officer attacked him. Apparently “waiting while black” is also a crime in the city.
The police claim that there was a case of mistaken identity. The officer has been placed on “Modified Assignment” pending the investigation. However, the video was already in the possession of the police at that time.
Here is that video footage with commentary from The Young Turks:
This is a clear case of police misconduct, the officer does not identify himself and there is no attempt made to arrest the unarmed man without force. James has called for the officer who attacked him to be fired, which any sane person in his position would do. A NYPD spokesman said that complaints against officers are down and they are really trying hard to do better. NYPD Commissioner, William Bratton, phoned James to apologize. To his credit James accepted the apology, according to ABC 7 New York:
James accepted Bratton’s apology, but said he will not be satisfied until the officers are held appropriately accountable and there is a commitment from the city to make a meaningful financial investment into supporting communities that are affected by these types of incidents. He said he would also like to see a financial investment into protecting the public from excessive police abuse.
The city claims to have already invested $29 million into training and retraining officers and says that many more will be retrained in the coming months. The numbers do say it is working, but for James, it just was too little, too late. The fact is, $29 million isn’t a drop in the bucket compared to what lawsuits against the police can cost the city. Clearly, the department has a long way to go.
Featured image via video screenshot