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James Blake mistakenly attacked by NYPD

By The Sports Xchange
James Blake mistakenly attacked by NYPD
James Blake. UPI/John Angelillo | License Photo

Former tennis player James Blake was attacked and detained Wednesday by an undercover New York police officer who mistook him for a thief, according to the New York Daily News.

As Blake waited for a car to take him to the U.S. Open, the unnamed plain-clothes officer ran toward the former tennis star and slammed him to the pavement, then cuffed him.

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Four other undercover cops showed up as well, according to the Daily News, and didn't let Blake go until they were told the man they had in custody was James Blake, not the suspect in an identity theft ring they were seeking.

After 15 minutes in custody, Blake was released, the Daily News reported. He said the arresting officer did not apologize, and Blake is seeking an apology from the NYPD, which said it is investigating the incident.

Blake, who is black, was asked whether he thought race motivated the arresting officers, who were white.

"I don't know if it's as simple as that. To me it's as simple as unnecessary police force, no matter what my race is," he told the Daily News. "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.

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"You'd think they could say, 'Hey, we want to talk to you. We are looking into something.' I was just standing there. I wasn't running. ... It's blatantly unnecessary. You would think at some point they would get the memo that this isn't OK, but it seems that there's no stopping it."

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