Tennis star James Blake has settled his police brutality claim against New York City. The tennis player agreed to withdraw his claim in exchange for the city creating a legal fellowship named after him. The fellowship will investigate cases of police misconduct.
The lawsuit stemmed from a violent incident in which the tennis star got tackled by a plainclothes officer who mistook Blake for a credit card fraud suspect. Blake had been leaning on a pole next to the Grand Hyatt New York in September 2015, when the officer tackled him, cuffed him and then led him away. Allegedly, police thought Blake was waiting to carry out a fraudulent credit card delivery in front of the hotel.
The settlement will fund a staff member to work with communities and investigate instances of police brutality. The staff member will receive a salary of not less than $65,000 annually, and the position will be funded for six years.
The job of the staff member will be to assist individuals in navigating the legal system to report police brutality claims, and to advocate for stronger investigations. The fellowship will be called the James Blake CCRB Fellowship. In addition to paying for the staff member, the city will also pay approximately $175,000 in legal fees to Blake.
Were you or a loved one victimized by police brutality in New York? You can fight back in court and seek financial restitution and justice. A New York police misconduct lawyer can evaluate what happened in your case to determine your most appropriate avenues available for seeking financial restitution.
Source: ESPN, “James Blake withdrawing claim against N.Y., gets police oversight,” June 21, 2017