>>MEMBERS OF THE NYPD TACKLED
ANOTHER BLACK MAN AS HE WAS ON HIS PHONE AND NOT DOING
ANYTHING WRONG. WHAT WAS THIS BLACK GUY DOING?
WAS HE SUSPICIOUS LOOKING? WAS HE DOING SOMETHING CRAZY
LIKE SELLING UNTAXED CIGARETTES? ACTUALLY NO, THIS GUY IS JAMES
BLAKE, A FORMER TENNIS PRO AND FORMER HARVARD STUDENT. HE WASN’T DOING ANYTHING WRONG
WHEN ONE NYPD OFFICIAL DECIDED TO TACKLE HIM WHEN HE
LOOKED UP FROM HIS PHONE. BLAKE SAID HE JUST ANSWERED A
FEW QUESTIONS FROM A WRITER FOR A TENNIS MAGAZINE WHEN HE
LOOKED UP AND SAW SOMEONE IN SHORTS AND A T-SHIRT CHARGING AT
HIM, HE WAS OUTSIDE THE HYATT. BLAKE SAID THE OFFICER WHO WAS
NOT WEARING A BADGE PICKED HIM UP AND THREW HIM DOWN ON THE
SIDEWALK. WHY DID THIS HAPPEN? OF COURSE HE WASN’T DOING
ANYTHING WRONG. THEY DID ARREST HIM FOR ABOUT 15 MINUTES AND LATER LET HIM
GO WITH AN APOLOGY. THE COP WHO APOLOGIZED TO HIM
WAS NOT THE ONE WHO TACKLED HIM. THE ONE WHO TACKLED HIM IS NOW
ON DESK DUTY PENDING AN INVESTIGATION. HE WAS ALLEGEDLY IDENTIFIED BY
SOMEONE ELSE AS SOMEONE WHO WAS TAKING PART IN
CREDIT CARD FRAUD. HE WAS NOT TAKING PART
IN CREDIT CARD FRAUD. WHOEVER THIS PERSON WAS THAT
IDENTIFIED HIM IDENTIFIED THE WRONG PERSON.>>LET’S BREAK THIS DOWN
FURTHER, IT WAS FIVE COPS WHO WENT AFTER
HIM. THEY WERE UNDERCOVER. SO AS FAR AS BLAKE CAN TELL, HE
WAS CONFUSED AS TO WHAT HAPPENED. THEY HANDCUFFED HIM
AND SAID THAT HE WAS A SUSPECT. HE SAID LOOK, I’M A TENNIS
PLAYER, I JUST DID THIS INTERVIEW. LATER ANOTHER COP COMES AND SAYS
OH, I RECOGNIZE HIM, HE IS A TENNIS STAR. HE WAS RANKED IN
THE TOP 10 IN THE WORLD. THEY SAID SORRY, WE DIDN’T KNOW
THE RANDOM BLACK GUY THAT WE TACKLED HAPPENED TO BE FAMOUS,
YOU ARE FREE TO GO.>>NOT ONLY IS HE FREE TO GO,
THE APOLOGIES ARE AMAZING. THIS IS BECAUSE THIS GUY HAS
SOME POWER AND MONEY. IF YOU MESS WITH SOMEONE WHO
HAS POWER THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN YOU GET TREATED
DIFFERENTLY.>>WHAT’S DISTURBING ABOUT THIS
STORY, ONE THERE ARE TWO DIFFERENT JUSTICE SYSTEMS. I
LIKE THAT THEY APOLOGIZED TO HIM.>>ME TOO.>>OF COURSE THEY WERE WRONG. BUT SINCE HE WAS POWERFUL, ALL
OF A SUDDEN THEY TREAT HIM DIFFERENTLY. IF THAT IS A RANDOM BLACK DUDE
AND THEY WERE WRONG, THEY WOULD BE EQUALLY WRONG
IN TACKLING.>>WOULD BE EQUALLY WRONG BUT
THEY WOULD BE MUCH MORE DEFIANT IN THEIR RESPONSE.
THAT IS THE WORST PART. IT IS CRAZY TO DRAW PARALLELS
BETWEEN THE STORY AND THE ONE I AM ABOUT TO NOTE. REMEMBER WE DID THAT STORY ABOUT
THE GUY WHO WAS IN HIS 80S AND SOLICITING PROSTITUTES
AND THE GUY SAID LET HIM GO? YOU SHOULD HAVE THAT SAME TYPE
OF MENTALITY WHEN IT COMES TO ALL PEOPLE, THEIR AGE
SHOULD NOT MATTER. IN THIS CASE SOMEONE’S
SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS SHOULDN’T MATTER EITHER. OF COURSE THAT IS NOT THE CASE.>>THE REASON FOR THAT IS IT IS
EASIER TO COVER UP IF YOU DON’T HAVE ANY POWER. THAT RANDOM BLACK DUDE THAT GETS
TACKLED THE NEXT DAY, HE IS GOING TO MAKE THE SAME
COMPLAINTS AND IT IS NOT GOING TO BE COVERED BY THE NEW
YORK POST OR THE DAILY NEWS. THE SECOND PART OF IT IS IT
IS NOT THAT PEOPLE ARE MALICIOUS, AND THE COPS, WHO I
HAPPEN TO BE ALL WHITE, WERE THINKING LET’S GO
GET THIS BLACK GUY. EVERYBODY MAKES A DECISION, IS
THIS PERSON LIKE ME, OR NOT. SO WHEN THE OLD GUY GETS
ARRESTED FOR PROSTITUTION AND THEY SAY LET HIM GO, ñ
EVEN IN THE DYLAN ROOF CASE THE JUDGE SAID HE FELT BAD FOR
HIM AND HIS FAMILY. A
LOT OF TIMES IF YOUR NAME
HAPPENS TO BE FAMOUS THEN YOUR LIFE DOES MATTER, BUT IF YOU ARE
A RANDOM BLACK DUDE, YOUR LIFE DOES NOT MATTER AS MUCH BECAUSE
THEY CAN’T RELATE TO YOU. IF YOU TOLD A WHITE GUY THEY
WERE TACKLING RANDOM BLACK GUYS IN THE MIDDLE OF MANHATTAN
THEY WOULD SAY YOU ARE CRAZY, THERE IS NO WAY
THEY ARE DOING THAT. WHEN BLACK FOLKS SAY IT HAPPENS
ALL THE TIME, THAT IS WHERE THE DISCONNECT IS. MAYBE IF IT’S A FAMOUS TENNIS
STAR YOU REALIZE IT ACTUALLY DOES HAPPEN. WHAT IS
THE CORRECT THING TO DO HERE? IT IS NOT FOR THE POLICE TO NOT
INVESTIGATE A CREDIT CARD FRAUD. THEY ARE GOING AFTER
IDENTITY THIEVES? I AM THRILLED TO HEAR THAT.>>IT IS A NICE CHANGE OF PACE.>>I REMEMBER WHEN SOMEONE STOLE
MY IDENTITY A LONG TIME AGO. IT WAS IN MIAMI AND THEY LAUGHED
AT ME AT THE
POLICE STATION. HERE IS THE RIGHT WAY TO DO IT,
I AM NOT NITPICKING HERE, SURROUND THE GUY.>>I LOVE THAT YOU BROUGHT THAT
UP. WHY DO THEY HAVE TO TACKLE
HIM FROM THE GET-GO? HE DIDN’T EVEN GIVE THEM A
CHANCE TO RESPOND. JUST TRY TO TALK TO HIM AT FIRST
AND IF HE STARTS BECOMING HOSTILE THAN YOU CAN
HANDLE IT A DIFFERENT WAY.>>WE ARE NOT BEING NAœVE.
SOMETIMES THEY RUN, I GET IT. DON’T TACKLE THE RANDOM DUDE.
SURROUND HIM. IF IT WAS A WHITE GUY IN A
SUIT, NO WAY THEY WOULD TACKLE HIM NO MATTER HOW MUCH HE LOOKS
LIKE THE SUSPECT.>>ALSO IT JUST GOES TO SHOW YOU HOW
SHODDY WITNESS TESTIMONY CAN BE. IN THIS CASE SOMEONE POINTED
TO HIM AND SAID OH, THAT’S THE GUY. HOW OFTEN DOES THAT HAPPEN WHERE
THEY IDENTIFY THE WRONG GUY? HAPPENS QUITE A BIT.>>IT IS HARDER FOR PEOPLE FROM
A DIFFERENT RACE TO PICK APART PEOPLE FROM A
DIFFERENT RACE. SORRY FOR BUTCHERING
HOW TO SAY THAT. FOR A WHITE PERSON IT IS HARDER
FOR THEM TO TELL BLACK PEOPLE APART. BLACK PEOPLE HAVE A HARDER TIME
TELLING WHITE PEOPLE APART. THAT HAPPENS TIME AND
TIME AGAIN. THIS IS NOT THE ONLY TIME THE
NEW YORK POLICE HAVE DONE THIS BY THE WAY. THEY ALSO BROKE A FAMOUS
BALLPLAYERS LEG IN A SIMILAR CASE.

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Dennis Veasley

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