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Cop in James Blake debacle rejects deal with CCRB

Two years ago, an incredibly embarrassing moment in the history of New York police occurred. Retired tennis player James Blake was tackled and arrested by a New York police officer, James Frascatore, for seemingly no reason. This is because Frascatore mistakenly thought that Blake was actually someone tied to a credit card fraud ring. The entire episode was caught on video and it has since become a symbol of the ongoing debate about police, racism and excessive force.

This story is back in the news because the officer, Frascatore, recently rejected a deal that would have allowed him to avoid going to a two-day trial in front of the Civilian Complaint Review Board. As a result of the rejected deal, he will go before the CCRB in September.

Frascatore apparently rejected the deal because it still left the door open for Blake to sue him in civil court. Given the optics of the video, it seems like Blake has a very good case against Frascatore.

This story, yet again, has brought the topic of police brutality and excessive force to the fore. The police have an important function in this world. Without them, the idea of law and order is gone. However, at the same time, excessive force and brutal attacks by the police also destroy the concept of law and order. The police are heavily trained, and this training should reflect a professional and restrained approach by the police. When they fail in this regard and step over the line, they should be held accountable.

Source: New York Times, "Officer Accused of Excessive Force in Arrest of James Blake Spurns Plea Deal," Ashley Southall, July 20, 2017

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