Tackled Tennis Star James Blake Meets Mayor, NYPD Commissioner to Discuss Mistaken Arrest

James Blake, the former tennis star who was tackled during a mistaken arrest by a New York City police officer, met with the mayor and police commissioner Monday. 

Blake told reporters the meeting at City Hall was productive and that all three men appeared to be on the same page -- looking forward to turning a negative incident into a positive one, with a lasting impact on the city and on the police officer who roughly handled him. 

"Life is 10 percent what happens to you, 90 percent how you react to it, so I'm going to try to react to it in a positive manner and make a difference," said Blake. 

Blake would not rule out filing a notice of claim, the first step to a lawsuit, but his lawyer said he wasn't interested in financial renumeration. He said he wanted to be a catalyst for change and that accountability is "very important." 

Blake seemed to back away from his previous call to fire the officer who tackled him, saying he better understands the process now and that the officer has due process. He said he and the mayor and the police commissioner have faith in that process. 

Mayor de Blasio agreed in a statement the conversation was "productive." 

"We pledged a fair and expeditious investigation into his case, and to find futher common ground as we continue the work of reform," he said. 

Surveillance video of Blake's arrest on Sept. 9 outside a Manhattan hotel shows the officer charge at Blake, grab him by the arm and roughly take him to the ground. The officer has been placed on desk duty.

The mayor and police commissioner have apologized to Blake.

Blake, who had been ranked as high as No. 4 in the world and reached three Grand Slam quarterfinals, retired after the 2013 U.S. Open.

He won 10 singles titles, most recently in 2007. Twice he reached the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open, a hometown tournament that seemed to bring out his best play. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us