New York Police apologise to Blake

New York police have apologised to former tennis star James Blake, who was slammed down to the ground by police officers after being mistaken for a suspect in a crime.

Blake told the New York Daily News that he was pushed to the ground by five plainclothes police officers on Wednesday after he was mistakenly identified by a witness as a part of "a ring dealing in fraudulently purchased cell phones".

New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton said on Thursday he was concerned by the use of force in Blake's arrest.

Video footage of the incident was being reviewed, he said, adding that they wished to speak to Mr Blake to apologise – as did New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“We are very interested in speaking with Mr Blake to extend our apology. It should not have happened,” Mr Bratton told reporters.

Blake, who retired from tennis in 2013, described the incident as "scary" and "crazy", though he did want to turn it into an issue exclusively about race.

“I don’t know if it's as simple as [a race issue]. To me it’s as simple as unnecessary police force, no matter what my race is. In my mind there's probably a race factor involved, but no matter what there's no reason for anybody to do that to anybody.”