Tennis pro James Blake criticizes NYPD disciplinary system

The NYPD officer who used excessive force against James Blake back in 2015 only lost 5 vacation days for the incident, prompting the tennis star to speak out.
June 8, 2018
Kristin Toussaint
Metro New York

Former tennis pro James Blake has spoken out in response to the news that the NYPD officer who tackled him in 2015 received a penalty of five lost vacation days.

Officer James Frascatore lost five vacation days for his use of excessive force against Blake, the New York Daily Newsreported — half of the penalty recommended by the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB), an independent NYPD oversight office.

Frascatore was found guilty of using excessive force last summer, following a disciplinary trial.

The excessive force dates back to a 2015 encounter with Blake, in which the officer mistook the tennis star for a suspect in a credit card fraud case and tackled him to the ground. Blake had been leaning against a column in front of a midtown Manhattan hotel by himself at the time.

In a statement sent via Communities United for Police Reform, Blake criticized the penalty.

“The lack of meaningful discipline for the NYPD officer found guilty of using excessive force against me, while I was simply waiting outside of my hotel, is indicative of a broken disciplinary system,” Blake said. “Officer Frascatore had a record of misconduct complaints for the abusive treatment of civilians before he body-slammed me – it was reported that he had five civilian complaints within seven months of 2013.”

“Losing a few vacation days for the use of excessive force, following a history of repeated civilian complaints, is not meaningful discipline,” he continued. “It is this continued failure of the NYPD’s disciplinary system that perpetuates police abuses, brutality and misconduct, and leads to the unjust killings of civilians. Until the de Blasio administration addresses the dysfunction in police accountability and transparency, the problems of abusive policing will remain.”