Tennis star James Blake told Jimmy Fallon he was once “slammed into a wall” by a police officer on Wednesday’s “Tonight Show”.
Blake explained how he was in New York in 2015 for the U.S. Open to do some sponsored appearances when officer James Frascatore ran into him and pushed his head to the pavement with his knee in his back.
The sportsman, who was handcuffed and held in custody for about 10-15 minutes, shared: “They said I looked like a suspect. Turns out the suspect was for a credit card scam they were running, nothing violent, no reason in my opinion to necessarily tackle someone.”
Blake continued, “At that point it’s 2015, there’s still already plenty of signs in the media, plenty of cases of police violence, black men and women being killed or harmed by the police.
“So my first thought is back to the conversation I had with my dad, back to all those incidents, and my first statement was, ‘I’m complying 100 per cent. Whatever you say, I’m complying. 100 per cent.’ Because I know I don’t want to be a stat,'” calling it a “sad situation” and that “every Black man knows” just to go along with the police officer’s so-called rules.
Telling Fallon he never got an apology from the officer in question, Blake went on: “In terms of trying to get justice, I tried so hard. I mean, this is why I’m so encouraged right now by today’s events, is that I screamed and yelled for two years it took for me to get any sort of a trial, [an] internal trial against this police officer to try to get any sort of accountability and all he lost was five vacation days for this. And it was his fifth incident — he had four others, all against African-American men,” saying the officer broke one guy’s jaw.
Blake added of the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests, “To see that the protests happened so quickly, so genuinely, and they got results. I don’t know if those officers would have been charged if it wasn’t for the protests because this has happened so many times, so many other cases have happened like this.”