Police apologise to ex-player Blake

Police apologise to ex-player Blake

New York police commissioner William Bratton has apologised for an officer’s rough actions in detaining former tennis star James Blake in a case of mistaken identity.

Blake, who is black, says he was slammed to the ground, handcuffed and detained for 15 minutes on Wednesday.

The New York Times reported the officer who stopped him has been placed on desk duty after a review of video evidence raised Bratton’s concern over “the inappropriateness of the amount of force used”.

The paper said Bratton had been trying to contact Blake “to extend my apologies for the incident which he found himself involved in”.

The former world number four was in town to make endorsement appearances at the US Open and was met by a group of police – all of them white – outside his Manhattan hotel. They were seeking a suspect in a fraud case.

Blake, 35, won 10 career titles, making almost $US8 million ($A11.30 million). He last played on the tour in 2013.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the US Tennis Association expressed its concern over the incident and its support for Blake.

“The USTA is deeply concerned about this troubling incident. James is the embodiment of a model citizen whose triumphs on and off the court continue to inspire tennis fans and non-fans alike,” it said.

Blake said he suffered cuts to his leg and elbow during the incident.

“It was definitely scary and definitely crazy,” he said.

“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.

“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 not even close (to being OK). It’s blatantly unnecessary.”

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