Retired tennis pro James Blake testifies at cop's administrative trial

- An administrative hearing is underway to determine the fate of Police Officer James Frascatore of the NYPD. He is accused of using excessive force against tennis star James Blake in an incident two years ago that was captured on video.

"He never said 'NYPD.' He never said 'officer,'" Blake testified at the disciplinary trial. "He never said 'freeze,' like you'd see in the movies."

Blake stood with police reform activists after testifying against the officer who slammed him to the ground outside the Grand Hyatt Hotel in September 2015. He did not resist and said if he had, it could have been much worse, he said. Blake is asking for Officer Frascatore to be fired.

Shortly after the incident, the NYPD said Officer Frascatore and his team were looking for a suspect in a high-end credit card luxury scam. Frascatore's attorney, Stephen Worth, said it was a case of mistaken identity and that his client "acted professionally."

Officer Frascatore testified that he wanted to keep the "element of surprise" in taking down Blake because he said he'd been warned the suspects might be armed.

"I wanted to get control of the situation first," he said.

Even if he was the suspect, Blake said the officer used excessive force. He said the experience has had a profound effect on him. He said the "bad apples" need to be held accountable because the cops who are doing their job the "right way" are being hurt by those who are doing it the "wrong way."

At the next session, Worth plans to call a use-of-force expert to testify about the appropriateness of Officer Frascatore's takedown. The defense attorney said officers must weigh many factors in pursuing suspects.

Several more days of testimony are expected but Police Commissioner James O'Neill will ultimately decide whether Officer Frascatore will remain on the job, be disciplined, or be fired.

With the AP

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