Officer James Frascatore (right) failed to file an incident report or inform his immediate supervisors about the wrongful arrest of James Blake, who was on his way to watch the U.S. Open tennis tournament.
The NYPD wasn’t informed about the arrest until Blake told the NY Daily News about his harrowing experience.
NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton found out about the false arrest on the evening news.
“Mr. Blake has made a number of comments to the press. That’s how we became aware of the matter,” Bratton told reporters during a noon press conference on Thursday.
“I have concerns about the takedown,” Bratton said. “The movement was a fast approach. Basically, grabbing Mr. Blake by the arm, moving him forward and then taking him down to the ground and immediately rear-cuffing him.”
Frascatore was placed on desk duty and stripped of his gun and badge until the investigation into his excessive use of force is completed.
The false detainment of Blake, a mixed race man, added fuel to widespread public opinion that the NYPD is biased against blacks and people of color.
But Commissioner Bratton denied race had anything to do with Blake’s false arrest.
“Sorry, race has nothing at all to do with this,” he said. “If you look at the photograph of the suspect, it looks like the twin brother of Mr. Blake. So let’s put that nonsense to rest right now.”
The police were investigating a credit card theft ring working out of the Grand Hyatt Hotel, where Blake was a guest.
A delivery man pointed Blake out to police as he left the hotel.
The delivery man also pointed out a white man to police. That man was politely arrested without use of force.
Frascatore, who is white, has had five complaints filed against him for using excessive force in the past.