Ex-tennis star James Blake: Fire NYC officer who tackled me

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Video Released of Ex-Tennis Star James Blake's Mistaken Arrest

NEW YORK (AP) — Former tennis star James Blake, whose caught-on-camera takedown by a plainclothes New York City police officer prompted apologies from the mayor and police commissioner, told The Associated Press on Saturday that the officer who wrongly arrested him should be fired.

"I don't think this person should ever have a badge or a gun again," Blake, 38, said a day after surveillance video of the arrest outside a Manhattan hotel — and details about previous complaints over the officer's use of force — became public.

"I don't think it's too much to ask," he said.

Blake, who had been ranked as high as No. 4 in the world before retiring after the 2013 U.S. Open, was misidentified by a cooperating witness as being part of a scheme to sell fraudulently purchased merchandise when he was tackled, police have said.

SEE MORE: Ex-U.S. tennis star James Blake slammed to ground as victim of mistaken identity

The arresting officer, James Frascatore, who has been with the NYPD for four years, has been named in several civil rights lawsuits alleging excessive force. He has also been the subject of four civilian complaints — an above-average number for NYPD officers, according to complaint data.

"I think that that kind of police officer tarnishes the badge, which I have the utmost respect for and I believe that the majority of police officers do great work and they're heroes," Blake told the AP. "So this person doesn't ever belong in the same sentence with the heroes that are doing the right kind of police work and keeping the public safe."

A message left at a number listed for Frascatore, 38, wasn't immediately returned. Officials have said he was exonerated of one civilian complaint, a second was unsubstantiated and he was sanctioned for not identifying himself in a third. The status of the fourth complaint was unclear.

A spokesman for his union did not return a message seeking comment Saturday. But on Friday, Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said Blake's arrest was made "under fluid circumstances where the subject might have fled, and the officer did a professional job of bringing the individual to the ground."

Police have said Blake had been mistakenly identified by "a cooperating witness" as being involved in a ring dealing in fraudulently purchased cellphones. They added that allegations of excessive force would be investigated by internal affairs.

The video, one minute in length, shows passersby on the street glancing over at the incident as it unfolded but not stopping. Only one person pauses to tell the officer something has dropped out of his pocket.

Blake, in a statement released through his lawyer Kevin Marino, said he believes the vast majority of police officers are dedicated public servants who operate appropriately, but what happened to him "is not uncommon."

Click through to see more shots of James Blake's career:

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Ex-tennis star James Blake: Fire NYC officer who tackled me
FILE - In this May 26, 2013, file photo, James Blake grimaces after missing a return against Serbia's Viktor Troicki at the French Open tennis tournament in Paris. Internal affairs detectives are investigating claims by former tennis professional James Blake that he was thrown to the ground and then handcuffed while mistakenly being arrested Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015, at a New York hotel, police said. Blake, who's biracial, told the Daily News he wasn't sure if he was arrested because of his race but said the officer who put him in handcuffs inappropriately used force. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler, File)
James Blake hits a backhand during his Legends match with Andy Roddick at the New Haven Open tennis tournament in New Haven, Conn., on Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Fred Beckham)
James Blake of the U.S. team serves the ball to Croatian team's Marin Cilic during their Davis Cup quarterfinal tennis match, in Porec, Croatia, Sunday, July 12, 2009. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)
FILE - In this Aug. 28, 2013 file photo, James Blake reacts during a first round match against Ivo Karlovic, of Croatia, at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York. Officials say firefighters have found three bodies in a burning mansion owned by a Blake in Tampa. Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Spokeswoman Cristal Bermudez Nunez says the home is owned by James Blake, once ranked fourth in the world. She says neighbors have told detectives that Blake hasn’t lived in the house for a while and was renting it out. She also says detectives haven’t talked with Blake yet. Blake’s agent, Carlos Fleming, says the former tennis player is not in Florida. Authorities say the fire was reported to them at 6 a.m. Firefighters were still on the scene midmorning Wednesday, May 7, 2014.(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
FILE - In this Aug. 27, 2012 file photo, James Blake returns a shot to Lukas Lacko, of Slovakia, in the first round of play at the 2012 US Open Tennis tournament in New York. Blake says he will retire from tennis after the U.S. Open. The 33-year-old Blake announced his decision at a news conference at Flushing Meadows on Monday, Aug. 26, 2013, the opening day of the year's last Grand Slam tournament. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)
James Blake reaches for a shot from Milos Raonic of Canada, during the third round of play in the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Saturday, Sept. 1, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams)
James Blake autographs oversized tennis balls after his match against Lukas Lacko, of Slovakia, in the first round of play at the 2012 US Open Tennis tournament, Monday, Aug. 27, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
USA's James Blake serves a ball to France's Jeremy Chardy during their first round match at the Davidoff Swiss Indoors tennis tournament in Basel, Switzerland, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2009. (AP Photo/Keystone/Georgios Kefalas)
James Blake reacts while playing Lukas Lacko, of Slovakia, at the 2012 US Open Tennis tournament, Monday, Aug. 27, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
James Blake returns a serve from Roger Federer, from Switzerland, during a match at the Western & Southern Open tennis tournament, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2011 in Mason, Ohio. Federer won 6-4, 6-1. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)
James Blake tosses his serve during a match against Marcel Granollers, of Spain, in the second round of play at the U.S. Open tennis tournament on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012, in New York. Blake won 6-1, 6-4, 6-2. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
James Blake of the U.S., celebrates his victory over France's Arnaud Clement during the men's singles first round match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday Jan. 19, 2010. (AP Photo/John Donegan)
James Blake of U.S. plays a return to Andy Murray of Britain during their Queen's Club grass court championships final tennis match in London, Sunday, June 14, 2009. Murray won by 7-5, 6-4. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)
James Blake of the United States serves during the match against Ivo Karlovic of Croatia during the Madrid Open Tennis in Madrid, on Wednesday, May 13, 2009. Blake won 6-7, 6-4, 7-6(4). (AP Photo/Juan Manuel Serrano)
James Blake, of the United States, hits to Steve Darcis, of Belgium, during their match at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2008. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Frascatore has been placed on desk duty while internal affairs detectives continue their investigation. At issue is not only Blake's takedown but whether the use-of-force wasn't properly reported up the chain of command — leaving police brass to learn of it only after Blake spoke to the media.

But determining what discipline, if any, Frascatore could receive won't happen any time soon.

Depending on the results of an internal investigation, he could face departmental charges. If Frascatore chooses to fight those charges, he would do so in a departmental trial where he could face potential punishments ranging from a loss of vacation days to performance monitoring or other disciplinary actions.

Commissioner William Bratton, who earlier this week apologized personally to Blake, ultimately will decide Frascatore's fate.

A police spokesman declined to comment on Blake's remarks, saying the internal investigation is ongoing.

Blake said Saturday he was appreciative of Bratton and Mayor Bill de Blasio's apologies, as well as their invitations to discuss further policing issues, including the use of body cameras, training and ways to ensure more accountability.

But he also said he hoped others who have been wrongly arrested or mistreated by officers would receive the same treatment.

"I'm sure this isn't the first time police brutality has happened and I'm sure it's not the last time," he said. "So I want them to apologize to the people that this happens to that don't have the same voice that I have."

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