The New York Police Department commissioner apologized on Thursday for the mistaken arrest of James Blake, a retired top-10 professional tennis player, who said he was slammed to the ground outside his hotel in Midtown Manhattan.The commissioner, William J. Bratton, said he wanted “to extend a personal apology’’ to Mr. Blake.The officer who detained Mr. Blake, who is biracial, has been placed on desk duty. Mr. Bratton expressed concern about “the inappropriateness of the amount of force that was used during the arrest.”An initial review of video evidence of the arrest, Mr. Bratton said, led him to believe that it may not have been appropriate.Mr. Blake said he was slammed to the ground by a police officer outside his hotel on Wednesday and detained for 15 minutes after being mistaken for a suspect in an investigation of possible credit card fraud.
Stung by years of criticism that it has coddled Wall Street criminals, the Justice Department issued new policies on Wednesday that prioritize the prosecution of individual employees — not just their companies — and put pressure on corporations to turn over evidence against their executives.The new rules, issued in a memo to federal prosecutors nationwide, are the first major policy announcement by Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch since she took office in April. The memo is a tacit acknowledgment of criticism that despite securing record fines from major corporations, the Justice Department under President Obama has punished few executives involved in the housing crisis, the financial meltdown and corporate scandals.“Corporations can only commit crimes through flesh-and-blood people,” Sally Q. Yates, the deputy attorney general and the author of the memo, said in an interview on Wednesday. “It’s only fair that the people who are responsible for committing those crimes be held accountable. The public needs to have confidence that there is one system of justice and it applies equally regardless of whether that crime occurs on a street corner or in a boardroom.”