Why James Blake Should Have Never Been Tackled
Trill or Not Trill?


James Blake might have been tackled by an NYPD officer last week, for a variety of reasons. Maybe the officer speared him as a protest to the current state of American men’s tennis. Perhaps the cop thought Blake was Drake and the tackle was revenge for the 6 God causing Serena to lose. Honestly, he could have just been an overreacting racist with a temper. Despite those totally feasible explanations, I think this conversation starts with accountability.

Accountability is an integral part of the conversation while discussing leadership. When working with my students, I praise them for their excellence but trust and believe, they’re hearing it when they violate policy. I can get away with this because the overarching goals and expectations are set from the jump. These student leaders are the cream of the crop and most recognize that eyes are always upon them. I often wonder if the oft violating police officers see it the same way.

When rules are broken, the consequences, which should have been known from the start, are supposed to follow. This is different then a straight punishment. Immediate punitive actions, depending on its type, doesn’t always work as a long term deterrent or a teachable moment. Consequences are more tied to a learning experience. It means you are engaged to the totality of the process from the onset.

Too many times after a case of alleged police brutality, we hear of the suspected officer being involved judicial infractions. James Frascatore, who tackled Blake, has faced a number of civilian complaints along with excessive force lawsuits filed against him. His behavior in this most recent incident should have been expected. If someone keeps getting called out for their aggression, can we punish them if they are aggressive again? I blame the system who kept the officer out in the field. He was just Frascatore being Frascatore.

Another who comes to mind is, Daniel Pantaleo. The officer who killed Eric Garner had a number of lawsuits filed against him before choking out Garner in Staten Island. I’m not sure what the union protects or how many complaints you’re allowed to have on your file. Four seems like a lot to have without what seems to be any recourse. Again had consequences instead of punishments been dealt out maybe Pantaleo might have acted differently. Perhaps if accountability played a larger role, he wouldn’t have even been there that day, to deliver the final choke hold of death.

Police officers are public officials with great responsibility and its time we raise the bar. As an advisor, I hold my student leaders to the highest of standards. I communicate the expectations and goals from day one. I would not let my students get away with infraction after infraction without articulating the consequences. It’s “clear” that some rules exist within the law enforcement to deal with this wild behavior. I’m not aware of the specifics but what I do know is that someone is not articulating the rules and consequences accurately. Either that or these violent police officers aren’t listening or care to pay attention.

Without accountability, outlandish behavior will never be curbed. Police Commissioner William Bratton publicly apologized to the former tennis star but tha isntJames Blake is displaying leadership by using his notoriety to push the NYPD brass into doing something. It takes more than that. In about any other profession James Frascatore would have likely already been suspended or fired and maybe Blake doesn’t get tackled. It’s time to call out the big dogs of the NYPD. It’s time to get rid of the officers with multiple infractions and a number complaints. If firing is the not the answer then it’s time to start holding more people accountable. My student leaders know, that it could be the end of the road after a number of violations. Perhaps police officers should share the same sentiment.


Stay trill, folks.