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James Blake, ex-tennis pro, seeks NYPD apology for mistaken arrest

FILE - In this May 26, 2013, file

FILE - In this May 26, 2013, file photo, James Blake grimaces after missing a return against Serbia's Viktor Troicki at the French Open tennis tournament in Paris. Internal affairs detectives are investigating claims by former tennis professional James Blake that he was thrown to the ground and then handcuffed while mistakenly being arrested Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015, at a New York hotel, police said. Blake, who's biracial, told the Daily News he wasn't sure if he was arrested because of his race but said the officer who put him in handcuffs inappropriately used force. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler, File) Credit: AP / Michel Spingler

Former tennis professional James Blake said he wants an apology from New York City police after his mistaken arrest.

Blake said Thursday on ABC's "Good Morning America" that everyone should be held accountable for their actions, including police.

He said he was standing outside Manhattan's Grand Hyatt New York hotel on Wednesday waiting to head to the U.S. Open when he looked up from his cell phone and saw an officer charging him. He said he was body-slammed and handcuffed.

Police Commissioner William Bratton said he'd been trying to reach Blake by phone to apologize but Blake hadn't responded to messages. He also said his department wants Blake to speak to its Internal Affairs division.

Internal affairs detectives are investigating Blake's claims.

Stephen Davis, the New York Police Department's top spokesman, said a cooperating witness misidentified Blake to detectives investigating fraudulently purchased cellphones as one of two people he recognized as being involved with the scheme.

"Once Blake was properly identified and found to have no connection to the investigation, he was released from police custody immediately," Davis said in a statement. "In regards to the alleged improper use of force, the police commissioner directed the internal affairs bureau to investigate."

On Thursday's "Good Morning America," Blake said his wife, Emily, was the first person he called to tell about the incident and she is the reason he is speaking out about it.

"She said, 'What if this happened to me?'" Blake said. "Immediately, I was furious because I thought about what I would be thinking if someone did that to my wife, if someone tackled her in broad daylight, paraded her around in a busy, crowded sidewalk in New York City with handcuffs with her cuffed behind her back, and taking away her dignity. I couldn't accept that."

He told officers to check his identification, and he was released. "The first words out of my mouth were, 'I'm going to 100-percent cooperate. I don't want any incident or whatever,'" Blake said. "Just out of reaction from what I've seen in the media."

Blake said the officer never identified himself.

"At no time did he let me know he was a police officer," Blake said. "He just put the cuffs on me and said, 'Stand up.' I asked what was going on and he said, 'We'll tell you soon.'"

The officer has been placed on "modified assignment" and police are investigating.

Bratton told CNN the man police were searching for looked like "the twin brother of Mr. Blake."

In 2007, Blake became the first African-American since Arthur Ashe to achieve a top 10 world tennis ranking.

New York Sports