In Wake of George Floyd's Death, James Blake Reflects on His Own Experience with Police Brutality

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One of the most popular stars in the pro tennis tour for fourteen years says he has had nightmares sensing the police killing of George Floyd about two weeks ago in Minneapolis nearly five years ago James Blake was standing outside his upscale New York City hotel waiting for an afternoon ride to the U. S. open just standing there waiting for the car and definitely not thinking about this thinking about the day what's going on and see someone running from the street towards me and my first reaction was naive as it may be was that this is probably someone that knows me from high school or some coming to give me a hug or play joker or mess around in about three seconds later when I was on the ground I realized that wasn't the case a plainclothes officer had sprinted toward him from his left tackle dump body slammed him face first to the pavement hand cuffed him didn't tell him why and held them for ten to fifteen minutes the video shows a pretty clearly I never raised my arms I never ran and never did anything they could be seen in anyway as confrontational the carpeted soul to the wrong man wanted in a credit card fraud case Blake suffering elbow and knee scrapes and bruises now forty years old Blake who was ranked number four in the world to know six realizes how lucky he was to have been able to walk away given what's happened to so many other black men he sued the city but later withdrew it after the city agreed to establish a legal fellowship to investigate police misconduct and advocate for victims of police brutality the officer who was assaulted him was punished with the loss of four vacation days that's it and he sued Blake later for defamation suit that was thrown out in federal court as being frivolous several months earlier of course Eric garner was choked to death from behind by a New York City officer Daniel Pantaleo after saying I can't breathe eleven times face down on the sidewalk for allegedly selling cigarettes illegally and resisting arrest the medical examiner ruled that a homicide but a grand jury declined to indict the F. B. I. launched an investigation recommending that federal civil rights violations be charged but U. S. Attorney General William Barr declined to prosecute Pantaleo was fired last year after which he sued the city backed by his police union and people wonder why Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem protest and police brutality in the black community

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