James Blake case: Board finds excessive force was used

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Story highlights

  • Former tennis star James Blake was forced to the ground in September by a New York police officer
  • New York's police commissioner later apologized to Blake for the incident
  • A review board finds the officer used excessive force; the commissioner will decide his punishment

New York (CNN)The New York Police Department officer who tackled former tennis star James Blake outside a Manhattan hotel last month used excessive force, a board investigating the incident found.

Surveillance video of the September incident showed Officer James Frascatore dragging Blake to the ground and handcuffing him outside the Grand Hyatt hotel. Blake does not resist the officer in the video.
The Civilian Complaint Review Board, an independent New York City agency, was later asked to look into the incident.
    After it did, the board recommended that charges should be filed against Officer Frascatore that "may result in an administrative hearing and a penalty more severe than a command discipline," according to a letter of the board's findings that was sent to Blake's lawyer, Kevin Marino.
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    The review board also found a second NYPD employee, Detective Daniel Herzog, abused his authority in the arrest.
    The city's police union, which represents both officers, did not immediately respond to a CNN request for comment on the board's recommendation.
    The board recommends that Herzog should receive discipline, "which may range from instructions to the loss of up to 10 days' pay," according to the letter.
    The Civilian Complaint Review Board is responsible for reviewing complaints of police misconduct and issuing recommendations. It can make recommendations, but ultimately it's up to New York's police commissioner to decide on any punishment after an internal department trial.
    "Our commitment remains to be a fair and vigilant resource for all people who have complaints about police misconduct, and to judge the cases based on thorough, even-handed investigations which serve the public and officers alike," Mina Malik, the board's executive director, said in a statement.
    "We have been made aware of the CCRB's findings. The department's internal review is still ongoing," said NYPD spokesman J. Peter Donald.
    Blake released a statement expressing appreciation for the review board's "quick and thorough review" of the incident.
    "I have complete respect for the principle of due process and appreciate the efforts of the CCRB to advance this investigation," Blake noted.