Officer James Frascatore, the officer who tackled tennis star James Blake, will be facing an ‘internal Police Department’ trial after the Civilian Complaint Review Board found Officer Frascatore used excessive force during Blake’s arrest.
The Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB), which is New York City’s independent agency that investigates police misconduct, sent a letter to Blake’s lawyer on Tuesday. In that letter, it stated that the board ‘substantiated the charge of excessive force against Officer Frascatore’ and recommended the harshest punishment possible.
If found guilty on the department-level charges, Officer Frascatore can be suspended or terminated. The police commissioner, William Bratton, will ultimately make that decision. In addition to the recommendations by the CCRB, Officer Frascatore is still the subject of an ongoing Internal Affairs investigation as well.
Despite the entire ordeal being captured on CCTV, Stephen Worth, a union lawyer who is representing Officer Frascatore, said that:
(The) so-called substantiation is in no way a finding of any wrongdoing by any competent authority. This is a simple case of a good-faith identification which has been wildly blown out of proportion.
Detective Daniel Herzog, who authorized the arrest, abused his authority in connection with the arrest, according to the CCRB. The board recommended that he receive ‘command discipline’, which is merely a slap on the wrist. At most, Detective Herzog will forfeit up to five vacation days.
Blake demands that Officer Frascatore be fired
When interviewed in the days after the assault, Blake had this to say:
I don’t think this person should ever have a badge or a gun again. I don’t think it’s too much to ask. That kind of police officer tarnishes the badge, which I have the utmost respect for and I believe that the majority of police officers do great work and they’re heroes. So this person doesn’t ever belong in the same sentence with the heroes that are doing the right kind of police work and keeping the public safe. I’m sure this isn’t the first time police brutality has happened and I’m sure it’s not the last time. So I want them to apologize to the people that this happens to that don’t have the same voice that I have.
Mr. Blake is correct. This isn’t the first time that the NYPD has dished out abuse on citizens. In fact, it’s not the first time for Officer Frascatore either.
Officer Frascatore Has A History Of Excessive Force
As previously reported, Officer Frascatore has a long history of excessive force and claims of abuse.
In May 2013, Frascatore was one of four officers who attacked and repeatedly pepper-sprayed a Queens man inside a St. Albans bodega for no apparent reason – a man that was later released with no charges. (If you’re keeping track, this is twice the dirty cop has been caught on video, violating the civil rights of a citizen) Officer Frascatore allegedly kept the $200 in cash that he retrieved from the man.
Officer Frascatore’s brutality against minorities isn’t a coincidence, it’s a pattern. In 2013, Officer Frascatore brutalized Warren Diggs after stopping him on his bicycle. Diggs tried to go inside to get his ID when Frascatore punched him in the head so hard, he reportedly fell to the ground. He was then pepper sprayed. Additionally, when Diggs’ wife moved his bicycle inside the house, Frascatore arrested her for ‘tampering with evidence’. You can listen to the audio of that arrest by clicking here.