Wall Street Journal
Oct. 7, 2015 8:42 p.m.


CCRB Faults Police in James Blake’s Arrest

Oversight agency finds NYPD officer used excessive force in tackling retired tennis star

By MIKE VILENSKY

A New York Police Department officer used excessive force during analtercation with retired tennis star James Blake , an independent oversight agency has found.

A second officer abused his authority in connection with the incident, the Civilian Complaint Review Board said in a letter to Mr. Blake.

Video released by the NYPD last month shows Mr. Blake leaning against a pillar outside the Grand Hyatt hotel near Manhattan’s Grand Central Terminal when an undercover officer rushes toward him and seizes Mr. Blake before spinning him to the pavement.

Mr. Blake, 35 years old, was misidentified as a credit-card fraud suspect during a botched undercover investigation, Police Commissioner William Bratton has said.

The tennis player, who is biracial, has spoken out about the Sept. 9 incident, calling for better relations between police and communities.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has apologized publicly for what happened. Mr. Bratton has said a review is under way and the officer who tackled Mr. Blake has been placed on modified duty due to concerns that the takedown maneuver exceeded what is allowed under department policy.

CCRB Executive DirectorMina Malik said Wednesday that the agency’s investigation into the interaction between Mr. Blake and police was resolved.

Mr. Blake said: “I want to express my appreciation to the Civilian Complaint Review Board for their quick and thorough review of the incident during which I was attacked.”

The CCRB report said its findings substantiated Mr. Blake’s complaints. He accused Officer James Frascatore, who tackled him, of excessive force, and Officer Daniel Herzog of abuse of authority in connection with the arrest.

Patrick Lynch, head of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, said the officers’ actions didn’t violate police department policy.

“An objective review of these facts will vindicate the officers involved,” Mr. Lynch said.

The NYPD said it was aware of the CCRB’s findings and that its internal review into the officers’ behavior is continuing. The officers could face disciplinary action.

Write to Mike Vilensky at mike.vilensky@dowjones.com