Buzzfeed is reporting that an independent investigation by the Civilian Complaint and Review Board found that the the New York Police Department officer who mistakenly arrested James Blake last month used excessive force during the takedown.
“I appreciate the efforts of the CCRB to advance this investigation,” Blake said in a statement.
The NYPD arrested Blake on Sep. 9, after a group of plainclothes officers mistook him for a suspect in a credit card fraud scheme. The violent arrest, in which an officer tackled the athlete without warning, was captured on video. It soon emerged neither Blake nor the suspect, both of whom are black, had any connection to the scheme.
“We have been made aware of the CCRB’s findings. The department’s internal review is still on-going,” the NYPD said in a statement.
Although Blake was not seriously injured, the incident unleashed a public relations crisis for the NYPD, which still struggles with allegations of racial profiling and excessive force. Both Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton issued rare public apologies to the athlete, who said he welcomed the apologies but insisted that the city take substantive steps to address the issues.
The CCRB’s finding opens the door for a departmental trial against Officer James Frascatore, who tackled Blake, and Detective Daniel Herzog, who was also involved in the arrest. The two officers will have an advocate who will contrast their side of the story with the CCRB’s finding. In the end, Commissioner Bratton will have the final say on whether the officers will be disciplined, and if so in what form.0