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Black Tennis Star Jumped By NYPD Cops In Case Of Mistaken Identity

James Blake was standing and texting when he was accosted by NYPD cops.

What the heck, NYPD? A guy is standing there texting and you jump him like he's some kind of criminal?

The incident occurred around noon in front of the Grand Hyatt on East 42 St., as Blake, a 35-year-old African-American who attended Harvard before going on tour, was waiting for a car to take him to Flushing Meadows, where he was making corporate appearances for Time-Warner Cable.

"It was definitely scary and definitely crazy," said Blake, who was once ranked No. 4 in the world and was among the most popular U.S. players of his generation. He suffered a cut to his left elbow and bruises to his left leg.

...

Blake said he had just answered a few questions from a writer for a tennis magazine and was texting when he looked up and saw someone in shorts and a T-shirt charging at him, splitting the doorman outside the Hyatt, an official hotel for the U.S. Tennis Association.

"Maybe I'm naïve, but I just assumed it was someone I went to high school with or something who was running at me to give me a big hug, so I smiled at the guy," Blake said. Blake said the officer, who he said was not wearing a badge, picked him up and threw him down on the sidewalk, yelled at him to roll over on his face and said, "Don't say a word."

Eventually they figured out that they had the wrong guy. Maybe they need training in the "not all Black people look alike" category?

After being handcuffed for about 15 minutes, Blake said the last of the five officers realized they had the wrong person and apologized. The first officer who tackled and cuffed him never said anything.

Known for his charitable and community-centered work throughout his career, Blake just last week announced he was running the New York City Marathon to raise money for cancer research.

And people wonder why the cops get a bad rap.


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