New York Daily News

Updated: October 7, 2015, 7:52 PM

  

 

PBA's Volley

BY ROCCO PARASCANDOLA, CORKY SIEMASZKO

Tennis great James Blake got “special treatment” from the watchdog group that investigated his videotaped body-slamming by a cop outside a Manhattan hotel, the head of the police officers’ union charged Thursday.

Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, leveled the charge a day after the Civilian Complaint Review Board concluded that Officer James Frascatore used excessive force and recommended departmental charges.

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton conceded that the CCRB has speeded up investigations, especially cases like Blake’s that are “higher priority, more significant news involved events.”

But, said Bratton, “that’s a benefit to the officer involved, to the complaint and to the public.”

Frascatore, already the focus of an NYPD investigation, got into more hot water after the Sept. 9 video went viral. It showed him throwing Blake to the sidewalk outside the Grand Hyatt Hotell.

Lynch insisted again that Frascatore did nothing wrong and even shook hands with Blake after realizing he was not the suspected credit card fraudster his plainclothes NYPD team was seeking.

Frascatore “detained the person the way he’s trained to do — handcuff him,” he said. “There was a pat on the back, a handshake and everyone left. This police officer responded to his training.”

The CCRB moved too quickly on the case, said Lynch.

“That’s always the danger, because you are a person of notoriety, you get special treatment and it moves faster and everyone knows about it,” Lynch said, adding “It’s the CCRB's job to do a thorough and correct investigation, not to get a result to get a headline.”

The review board also recommended departmental charges against Detective Daniel Herzog for authorizing the bogus arrest, sources said.

Blake’s lawyer, Kevin Marino, said on Wednesday he wants Frascatore fired, but Blake offered a more measured response, saying he had "complete respect for the principle of due process."

Blake, who has received apologies from both Bratton and Mayor de Blasio, is biracial and said he hopes what happened to him at the hands of a white cop will lead to changes in the way the NYPD treats people of color.

rparascandola@nydailynews.com