A NYPD officer has been placed on modified assignment following claims by former tennis professional James Blake that he was thrown to the ground and then handcuffed while mistakenly being arrested Wednesday at a Manhattan hotel, police said.

Police said undercover investigators were probing a theft ring that uses fraudulent credit cards to make cellphone purchases use a deliveryman to deliver the packages, and that deliveryman has been helping law enforcement by identifying suspects in the ring.

On Wednesday, he pointed out Blake as a suspect in the ring as Blake was standing outside the Grand Hyatt Hotel on East 42nd Street, police said.

Blake, 35, was waiting for a car to take him to Flushing Meadows when the undercover officers approached him, slamming him to the ground and cuffing him,The Daily News reports.

Blake told reporters outside the hotel Wednesday evening that the officers said nothing to him as they swarmed him.

“It shouldn’t have happened. It’s something we’ll deal with with the police and we’ll find out what they have to say internally,” he said. “Hopefully there’s video of it and people can see what happened.”

Blake told The Daily News he had just answered a few questions from a magazine writer and was texting when he looked up and saw someone in shorts and a T-shirt charging at him. He assumed the man was perhaps an old acquaintance who wanted to greet him, so he smiled at the man.

In a statement  NYPD spokesman Peter Donald said a cooperating witness had misidentified Blake.

“Once Blake was properly identified and found to have no connection to the investigation, he was released from police custody immediately. In regards to the alleged improper use of force, the Police Commissioner directed the internal affairs bureau to investigate,” the statement said.

Blake, who is biracial, told the Daily News: “In my mind, there’s probably a race factor involved, but no matter what there’s no reason for anybody to do that to anybody.”

He says he wants an apology from police.

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  • Brad

    So white folks pointing at you and misidentifying you as a non violent offender can get you wrestled to the ground by five cops.

    What in the Hell is this country coming to.

    • Me

      The same reason why “SWAT-ing” is a thing nowadays. I seriously wonder what it says on law enforcement’s job description b/c my best guess is it says “wear a badge, ufck some people up, collect a fat pension… thank you for your service”.

    • Chazz A

      Unfortunately, this is the MO of the NYPD. Under- covers rarely identify themselves and this has been going on around the city for decades.

  • There is no need for political correctness on this issue. There are many issues that should be outlined. First, the cops in this situation acted as brutish barbarians. They overtly violated the human rights of the biracial ex-tennis player Mr. Blake. This story refutes respectability politics and it refutes the lie that if someone just like passive and follow orders, then you will never be mistreated by the police. Obviously, James Blake did nothing wrong. The cops could have easily asked him about his identify for the purposes of investigating the whereabouts of a criminal. The cops never did that initially. They violently threw James Blake to the ground. Crooked cops are nothing more than evil pieces of work. Unfortunately, this is not new. Countless stories abound of black people being harassed, abused and murdered by many cops. The police institution is an agent of the establishment. We know how many slave patrols acted as cops used to fight legitimate black resistance to oppression. We know that many police along with the FBI has illegally monitored, Malcolm X, Dr. King, the Black Panthers, and other progressive forces for social change. The cops involved in this incident not only owe James Blake an apology.

    They should be punished (for real) for their abhorrent behavior. Today, the NYPD occupies the boroughs of NYC. We know that many NYPD agents act as spies, but we won’t back down. We are in opposition to fascist tactics and fascist institutions of oppression. There should be empowerment of the poor (via a radical redistribution of economic and political power) and the oppressed, so liberty can reign in the world. We are here and we will not be intimidated by the FBI, by the DHS, or by the NYPD. We are strong; we are BLACK, AND WE ARE BEAUTIFUL. We will fight and resist oppression straight up. Strong conscious Brothers and Sisters live in New York City too. During the summer of this year, I have studied NYC’s history a lot as it pertains to our people especially.

    From Sister Afeni Shakur to the BLM protester, NYC activists have a strong legacy.