Policeman to face trial over Blake tackle

Two police officers involved in the mistaken arrest of James Blake, including one who allegedly crash-tackled the former professional tennis player, are to face an administrative trial.

Mina Malik, the executive director of the New York City’s Civilian Complaint Review Board, said in a letter to Blake on Tuesday investigators had substantiated complaints he had made after his September 9 arrest.

Blake alleges Officer James Frascatore used excessive force and Detective Daniel Herzog abused his authority in his complaint.

Surveillance video showed Frascatore approaching Blake in front of the Grand Hyatt New York Hotel in Manhattan and grabbing his arm and roughly taking him to the ground.

Police said Blake, who had ranked as high as No. 4 in the world before retiring from the ATP Tour after the 2013 US Open, had been mistakenly identified as being part of a cellphone fraud scheme.

Frascatore had mistaken Blake for a similarly-looking suspect, police said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner William Bratton have both apologised to Blake, who believes Frascatore should be fired.

The officer, who has been with the New York Police Department for about four years, had been named in several civil rights lawsuits alleging excessive force. He was placed on desk duty after the encounter with Blake.

“It is my understanding that these officers now face an administrative trial for their roles in the respective offences,” Blake said in a statement on Wednesday. “I have complete respect for the principle of due process and appreciate the efforts of the CCRB to advance this investigation.”

A departmental trial could end in disciplinary action or termination.

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