Update, 12:45 p.m.: Speaking at a press conference, Bratton publicly apologized to Blake and said the amount of force used to detain him may have been inappropriate.
Original post, 10:36 a.m.: NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton said Thursday on CNN that the racial bias was not a factor in the mistaken detention of a black ex-tennis pro who was allegedly slammed to the ground by a white officer outside a high-end hotel, calling the suggestion “nonsense.” Former tennis star James Blake, who’s also a former Harvard student, said Wednesday that he had been thrown down outside Manhattan’s Grand Hyatt hotel and handcuffed for 15 minutes before being told that he’d been mistakenly identified as the suspect in a credit-card fraud case. From CNN:
“Sorry, race has nothing at all to do with this,” Bratton told CNN’s “New Day” on Thursday. “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.”
Bratton was more concilliatory in his remarks to the NY1 news channel Wednesday night:
“It’s very disturbing. The idea, he claims that he was rushed by a person in a pair of shorts and a t-shirt who pushed him to the ground and he was assisted by four others who identified themselves ultimately as police officers and that he suffered an injury as a result of that. Just the nature what he described is not what we do,” Bratton said.
The NYPD’s internal affairs unit is reportedly investigating the incident.