James Blake said Thursday that he wants an apology from the New York City police department and a detailed explanation of why he was thrown to the ground and then handcuffed while mistakenly being arrested Wednesday at a hotel.
The former tennis professional said in an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America" that he was "shaken up" by Wednesday's incident, but other than a few bumps and bruises he was fine. He said he was at first reluctant to discuss the incident, but his wife persuaded him that he needed to discuss it with the media.
"She said, 'You know, what if this happened to me?' And immediately I was furious because I thought about what I would be thinking if someone did that to my wife.
"[If] someone tackled her in broad daylight, paraded her around in a busy crowded sidewalk in New York City with handcuffs, with her cuffed behind her back and taking away her dignity, and I just I couldn't accept that and I know that a lot of people have no voice to have any recourse, and I'm lucky enough to have the opportunity to be sitting here with you to be able to tell this story and let people know this happens too often."
"She said, 'You know, what if this happened to me?' And immediately I was furious because I thought about what I would be thinking if someone did that to my wife."James Blake, on his wife persuading him to discuss the incident
New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton said Thursday on CNN that his department has been trying to contact Blake without success since the incident, but Blake said in the "GMA" interview that he hasn't been contacted.
"I haven't heard anything, but I mean I'd be surprised if they were making that concerted of an effort since I've been contacted by a lot of media sources who found my number," he said.
Blake said Thursday that "most cops are doing a great job of keeping us safe, but when you [have] police with reckless abandon, you need to be held accountable," adding that those "doing police work the wrong way need to pay for those actions and be shown either the door or whatever they need to do to punish them."
Blake's mistaken arrest happened while police were investigating an identity theft ring at Manhattan's Grand Hyatt New York hotel and mistook him for someone they believed to be involved. He said he was standing outside the hotel on Wednesday waiting to head to the US Open when he looked up from his cellphone and saw an officer charging him.
Bratton told CNN that the man police were searching for looked like "the twin brother of Mr. Blake.''
Blake said the plainclothes officer who body-slammed him never identified himself as a police officer and had no badge around his neck or on his belt. Blake said he kept a smile during the incident in an attempt to defuse the situation and made it clear that he would "100 percent cooperate." He was held for about 15 minutes before officers agreed to check his identification, and he was released.
One officer was placed on modified assignment after investigators reviewed surveillance footage, the New York Police Department said in a statement early Thursday. The officer has been stripped of his gun and badge.
Bratton told the NY1 cable television news station that Blake "has a right to be upset'' and vowed to address the allegations aggressively.
"It's very disturbing,'' Bratton said. "The nature of what he described is not what we do. It's not what we're supposed to do.''
The Associated Press contributed to this report.