Retired tennis star James Blake -- mistakenly tackled and arrested by a cop in Manhattan this month -- met with Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner William Bratton Monday and said afterward that the three agreed on the need for police reform.
Blake said he, de Blasio and Bratton were on "the same page" about NYPD reforms following the 90-minute, closed-door session at City Hall.
He told reporters he was "pleasantly surprised" the two men heard out his points.StoryNYPD: Ex-tennis star mistakenly handcuffed
"Accountability was really important," Blake said afterward, "not just making short-term changes . . . but about having an impact that's going to affect even generations. There's going to be a policy effect."
Blake was body-slammed Sept. 9 at a midtown Manhattan hotel by NYPD Officer James Frascatore of Oceanside.
NYPD officials said Blake resembled a suspected identity thief. Frascatore is on modified duty. His gun and shield have been taken away while an internal affairs probe is conducted.
"I think about the fact that it was unfortunate that it happened, but if it turns into a positive, then it can be a good thing that happened," Blake said.
Asked whether Blake still believes Frascatore should be fired, his attorney, Kevin Marino answered, "We don't have any disrespect for the officer's due process rights."
Marino said he and Blake are "pleased" that Frascatore -- seen on surveillance video handling Blake roughly -- is on desk duty. Marino said they will meet with the city's corporation counsel but don't necessarily plan to file a lawsuit.
The conversation was "based on a shared commitment to accountability and a desire to build trust," de Blasio and Bratton said in a joint statement after the meeting. "We pledged a fair and expeditious investigation into his case, and to find further common ground as we continue the work of reform."
Blake admitted he may be receiving special treatment in the aftermath of the arrest because he is a celebrity, but said he intended to make the best of it.
"I don't know if I would have had the same voice," the tennis star said. "Life is 10 percent what happens, 90 percent how you react to it, so I'm going to try to react to it in a positive manner and make a difference for all of those who may not have the same situation."