(UPDATED) Bratton apologizes for tennis pro James Blake's arrest
The top cop offered apologies on behalf of both NYPD and Mayor Bill de Blasio after Thursday's incident at a midtown Manhattan hotel.
After a very public game of phone tag, New York City's top cop finally got ahold of pro tennis star James Blake to apologize for his mistaken arrest.
"I spoke to Mr. Blake a short time ago and personally apologized for yesterday’s incident," NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said in a statement late Thursdsay.
Earlier in the day, Bratton told reporters that he has tried to reach out to Blake to personally apologize, and to extend said apologies on behalf of Mayor Bill de Blasio, but has not been able to reach the athlete.
Bratton added that Blake volunteered to speak to internal affairs detectives looking into the arresting officers actions.
"Mr. Blake said he would like to meet with the Mayor and me at a future date, which we would be agreeable to," Bratton wrote.
At an earlier press conference at police headquarters, Bratton pushed back on the idea that Blake, who is biracial, was targeted by the five arresting officers, who are white, on account of racial bias.
Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce told reporters that the actual suspect who officers mistook Blake for, shared many physical traits with the tennis player.
NYPD declined to release a photo of the alleged suspect who was eventually for credit card fraud in the vicinity of the midtown Manhattan hotel Blake was staying at.
"They look like twins," Boyce said.
A witness at the hotel mistook Blake for the suspect, which led to the five officers charging towards and arresting Blake.
Bratton told reporters that a review of surveillance video from the hotel showed Blake did not appear to resist arrest, and described the way with which it went down as "inappropriate."
The officer, who has not been identified, was placed on desk duty shortly after the incident.
"The use of force is such that I'm comfortable that it's in the best interest of the department to place the officer on modified assignment," Bratton said.
Blake told ABC on Thursday morning before Bratton's comments that he was still shaken up by the arrest.
"We all need to be held accountable for our actions," Blake said. "Police as well."