NYPD Officer Misidentifies Suspect and Tackles Retired Tennis Player

The police are just out of control:

James Blake says the New York Police Department should fire the undercover officer who slammed him to the ground outside a New York City hotel last week after the retired tennis star was misidentified as a suspect in a fraudulent credit card ring.

“He shouldn’t have a badge,” Blake told the New York Times on Saturday, “because in my opinion what he’s doing is tarnishing that badge.”

The officer, James Frascatore, has been placed on desk duty in the wake of the incident, which occurred Wednesday on the sidewalk in front of the Grand Hyatt in midtown Manhattan as Blake was waiting for a car to take him to the U.S. Open. In surveillance footage released by the NYPD Friday, Blake is seen being tackled and handcuffed by Frascatore, who was wearing plainclothes and never identified himself as a police officer.

“My initial reaction, being naive, I guess, is this is probably a fan or someone just having fun and giving me a big hug, someone I don’t recognize from high school,” Blake told NBC News. “About three seconds later, I realized it wasn’t someone giving me a friendly hug, that’s for sure.”

According to police, a courier working with the 38-year-old officer misidentified Blake as a suspect. Blake, who was detained for about 10 minutes until responding officers realized their mistake, suffered minor injuries.

“Physically, I’m OK,” he told NBC News Saturday. “The emotional scars are going to take a little more time to heal, because I was embarrassed. I was embarrassed to be handcuffed, in the middle of the day, on 42nd Street.”

The case has put a national spotlight on what critics say are overly aggressive tactics used by NYPD officers.