Officer who tackled James Blake should be fired, panel says

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Security Video of James Blake's Arrest

An independent watchdog agency has confirmed James Blake's claim of mistreatment at the hands of the NYPD. The Civilian Complaint Review Board recommended that Officer James Frascatore be suspended or dismissed for using excessive force in his arrest of the ex-tennis pro.

However, the recommendation is just that: advisory. Commissioner William Bratton will have final say over Frascatore's future with the department, which is conducting its own internal-affairs investigation. Frascatore was first placed on desk duty following the September 9 arrest, but following the release of hotel security camera footage, he was subsequently stripped of his badge and gun.

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Stephen C. Worth, a union lawyer representing Officer Frascatore, scoffed at the findings. He told the New York Times that the "so-called substantiation is in no way a finding of any wrongdoing by any competent authority." At the time, Frascatore covered up the arrest, failing to note he had body-slammed and tackled the mistaken suspect.

And this isn't Frascatore's first rodeo with the review board. Three similar complaints were filed against the 38-year-old in 2013, each relating to violent arrests and questionable charges.

"I've never experienced that kind of violence in my life," said Blake shortly after his arrest. Blake was falsely identified as a suspect during a credit-card-fraud sting. But the white suspect who identified him as a co-conspirator was arrested without force, according to the Daily News.

See photos of James Blake throughout his career:

James Blake
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Officer who tackled James Blake should be fired, panel says
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)

Both Mayor Bill de Blasio and Commissioner Bratton have personally apologized to the athlete for the arrest, promising a comprehensive review of department procedures. "This shouldn't have happened," said the mayor in an interview with NY1, "and he shouldn't have been treated that way."

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