All too often we see stories in the news of police brutality and misconduct. Though it is so often portrayed in the media, it is important to remember that it is not all cops, just a few bad apples that give the rest of them a bad reputation. Videos of young black men being gunned down in the street by officers or stories of evidence tampering garner major headlines, and the story is usually the same.
But one case out of New York City is changing the usual narrative, and not for the better. In 2015, retired tennis pro James Blake was standing outside his hotel when he was tackled to the ground by NYPD officer James Frascatore, who was dressed in civilian clothes at the time.
This was a case of mistaken identity that was taken way to far. The NYPD originally states that Blake had not been "manhandled". However, Blake was able to obtain the surveillance footage from the hotel, which blatantly proved otherwise.. Only then was an apology forthcoming.
But the story gets even stranger...
Officer Frascatore is currently on modified duty while he awaits a pending decision from the Civilian Complaint Review Board, which has only encouraged the NYPD to dock 10 paid vacation days from Frascatore...
Frascatore, after purchasing a copy of James Blake's new book Ways of Grace, has decided to file a lawsuit against multiple parties because he says "he was portrayed as a racist goon." The parties named in the suit are: New York City, James Blake, HarperCollins Publishers, Civilian Complaint Review Board Director Tracy Catapano-Fox, and the the NYPD.
Apparently Frascatore has said that after the video was released, the public outcry has made his life miserable. But this isn't the first complaint against Frascatore; he has a lengthy civilian complaint record, including a seven month span in 2013 where he racked up a whopping five civilian complaints. They NYPD recently paid out $40K to a man that accused Frascatore of assaulting him.
Is this man an overzealous cop, or is he a racist goon? Apart from the Blake encounter I haven't had the chance to see any other evidence. Watch this video of the unlawful "tackle" and arrest of James Blake and judge for yourself.