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James Blake demands apology as cop in false arrest put on ‘modified’ duty

Black New York-born tennis star James Blake says race a factor in brutal treatment.

James Blake(upper R) wants an apology after he was cuffed outside the Hyatt. The cWikimedia, WABC-TV, Reuters

James Blake, who at one time was the fourth ranked tennis player in world, has this to say about what New York City cops put him through: “It shouldn't have happened.”

But it did. On Wednesday morning, as he waited for a car outside the Grand Hyatt to take him to the U,S, Open, he said was set upon by one cop who tackled and cuffed him during an identity theft investigation.

He was held by the officer -- and four others -- until a sixth cop in the area vouched for him.

RELATED: James Blake released after cuffed by NYPD.

All five arresting officers were white. Blake is black and he believes his skin color had something to do with how harshly he was treated.

Early Thursday, the NYPD said one of the cops has been reassigned as the investigation ordered by Police Commissioner Bill Bratton continues.

“Subsequent to Internal Affairs investigators viewing surveillance video of the incident at the Hyatt Hotel on Wednesday, September 9, involving James Blake, one officer has been placed on modified assignment” the NYPD said “The investigation is ongoing."

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Blake spoke to reporters outside the hotel, which is right next to Grand Central Terminal, late Wednesday.

"It's just something that we'll deal with, with the police, and we'll find out what they have to say internally, hopefully there's video of it and people can see what happened," Blake said.

He said cops "just rushed me. ...."It shouldn't have happened.”

"What would you like to hear from them?" a reporter from local ABC asked.

"An apology," Blake said.

RELATED:Photos: 10 most intense U.S. Open action shot faces.

Earlier, the Yonkers-born, Harvard-educated Blake told The Daily News, which broke the story, that he believes the five white cops just saw another black man and acted without cause.

“It was definitely scary and definitely crazy,” Blake told the Daily News. “In my mindthere’s probably a race factor involved, but no matter what there’s no reason for anybody to do that to anybody.”

Bratton was asked about the incident byNY1’s Errol Louis.

"Just the nature, what he described is not what we do, it's not what we're supposed to do," the city’s top cop said.

"So we will very aggressively address it, that I will not tolerate any type of excessive use of force on the part of my police, but it's always, you have that saying 'the first story is never the last story', so we'll wait and see what we get for facts and circumstances and hopefully video," Bratton said.

Blake is expected to address the media again later Thursday.

John A. Oswald is editor-at-large at Metro and can be found on Twitter@nyc_oz.
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