James Blake Gets The Bum’s Rush, Twice
Sept. 10, 2015 (Mimesis Law) — The guy was a tennis star, ranked fourth in the world with a very high USTA rating, before he retired. James Blake was the real thing, accomplishing fame through sweat and effort. That’s no small feat. Not that it did him a lot of good in the Big Apple.
Retired black tennis star James Blake, in an NYPD double-fault, was slammed to a Manhattan sidewalk and handcuffed by a white cop in a brutal case of mistaken identity.
The 35-year-old Blake, once ranked No. 4 in the world, suffered a cut to his left elbow and bruises to his left leg as five plainclothes cops eventually held him for 15 minutes Wednesday outside the Grand Hyatt Hotel.
It seems some cell-phone delivery snitch fingered Blake as a guy to whom some phones were delivered the day before as part of a credit card fraud investigation, and New York’s Finest needed to take him out. So a guy in plainclothes, shorts no less, charged at Blake.
The unidentified officer picked Blake up, threw the 6-foot-1 player down on the sidewalk and commanded him to roll over facedown.
Because those credit card fraudsters can be killers, you know, and why should a cop risk his life by walking up to a guy standing there, doing nothing, minding his own business, and tell him that he’s being arrested? Why when you can just throw him to the concrete?
As he started texting on his phone, Blake looked up and saw someone in shorts and a T-shirt racing at him.
“Maybe I’m naïve, but I just assumed it was someone I went to high school with or someone who was running at me to give me a big hug, so I smiled at the guy,” Blake said.
At least, that’s what James Blake says happened. The police story remains sketchy at the moment.
Mr. Bratton, in the NY1 interview, said: “We will very aggressively address it. I will not tolerate any type of excessive use of force on the part of my police.
It’s always soothing to learn that New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton won’t tolerate excessive force, when the target is a famous person, the world is watching and there’s likely video. And yet,
But as always, and we have that saying, ‘The first story is never the last story,’ so we’ll wait and see what we get for facts and circumstances and, hopefully, video.”
Never has a police commissioner spoken truer words than “the first story is never the last story,” as James Blake’s description, the eyewitnesses’ description, of how the plainclothes cop gave Blake the bum’s rush, not bothering to announce that he was a cop, and slamming him to the sidewalk “in an excess of caution,” clearly is a one-sided point of view.
The cops, as Bratton well knows, need time, some breathing room, to reflect deeply on their conduct so they can come up with a plausible story that will explain why it was necessary to use force to save the children. Or something like that.
Even if they can’t come up with an actual excuse for this “irrational exuberance,” at least they can minimize the appearance of taking down another black guy who happened to have once been fourth in the world in tennis.
Do the police, who risk their lives arresting credit card fraudsters and tennis stars, making split-second decisions, not deserve the public’s acquiescence to withholding judgment until they get a chance to make up a story? Don’t police lives matter too?
Blake notes that the officer who gave him the bum’s rush failed to apologize for his error, even after a retired officer informed him that he just slammed a huge tennis star to the concrete. But nobody, per the press conference, told Bill Bratton that his implication that James Blake, tennis star, was lying about what happened because he’s got such a strong motive to make stuff up and smear the NYPD, was a second bum’s rush. And Bratton also didn’t apologize for suggesting that Blake was a liar.