Retired tennis star James Blake, who was tackled and wrongfully detained by plainclothes NYPD officers in 2015, will drop his excessive-force claim against the city. In exchange, the city has agreed to create a fellowship in Blake's name to help others navigate the Civilian Complaint Review Board, the city agency that oversees complaints of police brutality.

According to the Mayor's Office, the James Blake CCRB Fellow will be in charge of outreach within high-complaint neighborhoods, with a focus on helping the review board reduce the number of complaints that are closed without receiving a full investigation. Last year, a full 55 percent of CCRB cases went unresolved, largely because complainants didn't follow through with the process, according to the Mayor's Office. The position will be funded for six years using money from the CCRB's existing budget.

"We believe the James Blake CCRB Fellowship will go a long way toward addressing the important issue of police misconduct, and are very pleased to turn this unfortunate incident into a real positive for the people of New York," Blake's attorney Kevin Marino said in an email.

It remains unclear what will happen to James Frascatore, the officer seen in surveillance footage tackling Blake. Following the incident, the CCRB determined that Frascatore, who has a lengthy complaint record, was guilty of excessive force and recommended departmental charges leading to suspension or dismissal. But the NYPD's internal investigation is still pending, and the officer is now expected to avoid a public disciplinary hearing, according to an unnamed source who spoke with the Times.

Last year, the city paid out $40,000 to a Queens man who accused Frascatore of punching and kicking him.

Blake Videoby Gothamist

The city Law Department has signed off on paying Blake around $175,000 in legal fees and travel expenses incurred while developing the fellowship.

The position, and Blake's decision to forgo a costly suit, drew praise from Mayor Bill de Blasio, Police Commissioner James O'Neill, and CCRB Chairwoman Maya Wiley. "The James Blake CCRB Fellowship will enhance the Civilian Complaint Review Board process by ensuring complaints are investigated both quickly and thoroughly," O'Neill said in a statement.

Not everyone was thrilled with the resolution. Some police reform advocates pushed back on the idea that the CCRB has any real power to discipline NYPD officers. Under the current system, the CCRB can only make nonbinding recommendations. The NYPD commissioner frequently overrules the board.

In a statement, Gwen Carr and Constance Malcom—the mothers of Eric Garner and Ramarley Graham, respectively—also expressed disappointment with the terms of the deal, accusing Blake of giving de Blasio cover to ignore meaningful police reform.

"Public safety doesn't come from hiding police misconduct, it comes from preventing it through real reforms like the Right to Know Act, ending broken windows policing, and swiftly and meaningfully holding officers accountable—all important reforms the mayor has obstructed," the two said in a joint statement. "This announcement achieves none of that. Given the continued delays in seeking accountability for our sons and the fact that New Yorkers continue to be brutalized by the NYPD with near-impunity, it makes it seem that police brutality is not a priority for this administration unless a wealthy celebrity is the victim."