Bronx Assemblyman says NYPD used excessive force against him

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Michelle Charlesworth has the story.

New York Assemblyman Michael Blake says he was roughed up by an NYPD officer over the weekend.

The Bronx Assemblyman says officers used excessive force against him while he was trying to defuse a tense situation between the police and people in a Bronx neighborhood on Saturday.

Blake says he tried to calm a heated situation at the Morris Houses complex after observing a woman in handcuffs and another woman and man arguing with an officer.

He says the officer bear-hugged him, lifted him and pinned him to a gate.

"I ran over to see what was happening and within seconds I was in a bear hug and thrown against the gate until some captains realized who I was and said 'get off of him,'" Assemblyman Blake said.

Blake says he was physically unhurt, but definitely shaken and will never forget this. He says the language police used when they realized he was a New York Assemblyman cannot be repeated.

"You all don't know how this feels. When you work as hard as I do to make sure things like this don't happen, and then this happens Saturday," Assemblyman Blake said.

The department says a sergeant and officer had responded to the dispute when Blake placed a hand on the sergeant's shoulder without identifying himself.

It says the officer had perceived a possible threat to the sergeant. They say he's apologized to Blake.
In a Facebook post, Blake called it a terrible encounter, surreal, with a lot of tension.

City Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson says she was deeply sorry for what happened.

"Sadly there are many Michael Blake's in our communities experiencing this each and every day," Councilwoman Gibson said.

Blake walked into police headquarters Monday afternoon to talk to Police Commissioner Bill Bratton.

"We met briefly. He is filing a complaint with the CCRB, and they will investigate," Commissioner Bratton said. "There will no apology from me, none forthcoming and we'll see where the investigation goes from here."

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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