- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Former tennis star James Blake is demanding answers after he was mistaken for a criminal and detained in New York City on Wednesday.

Mr. Blake, who is black, says he was slammed to the ground, handcuffed and detained by five white plainclothes police officers outside his midtown hotel before heading out to the U.S. Open, the New York Daily News reported.

Mr. Blake had apparently been mistaken for a suspect in an identity theft ring operating in the area. He said he was handcuffed for about 15 minutes before one of the officers realized he had the wrong person and apologized, the Daily News reported. Mr. Blake reportedly suffered a cut to his left elbow and bruises to his left leg in the takedown.

“It was definitely scary and definitely crazy,” he told the Daily News.

Asked if he considered it a case of racial profiling, Mr. Blake said, “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. 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,” he said. “I was just standing there. I wasn’t running. It’s not even close [to being OK]. 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.

“I have resources to get to the bottom of this. I have a voice,” he declared. “But what about someone who doesn’t have those resources and doesn’t have a voice?”

Mr. Blake demanded an apology from the NYPD and asked that the officers involved be punished, “so they know it’s not OK to go out there and do this again tomorrow.”

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