ESPN commentator accuses Cincinnati police of targeting Bengals

During a discussion of the arrest of Bengals running back Cedric Benson, ESPN’s Ric Bucher suggested that the team’s history of player arrests is at least partly due to unfair treatment from the Cincinnati police.

“I’m a Cincinnati native,” Bucher said on ESPN Radio Wednesday morning. “The reputation that the Bengals have is, I believe — there are extenuating circumstances there.”

When co-host Erik Kuselias asked Bucher to elaborate, he said the police in Cincinnati are targeting athletes.

“The relationship in Cincinnati between the police and the professional athletes is challenging, I would say,” Bucher said. “I believe there is a little bit of targeting that goes on there.”

Bucher did, however, go on to say that he wasn’t defending Benson in this particular case, in which he was arrested for assault in Austin, Texas.

“If I’m not mistaken, it didn’t happen in Cincinnati, so my whole argument goes out the window with this one,” Bucher said.

Bucher’s comments are reminiscent of Bengals coach Marvin Lewis’s claim in 2007 that his players were victims of “profiling” by Cincinnati police. Lewis apologized the next day.

64 responses to “ESPN commentator accuses Cincinnati police of targeting Bengals

  1. HE IS 100% CORRECT! I lived in CIncy for 25 years and not only do they target Players they continue to target minorities in general even the professional married hardworking good moral minority…..
    Keep talkin……

  2. I was under the impression that police agencies targeted criminals. It just so happens that there are multiple offenders on the Bengals roster. This team has covered a lot of ground in rebuilding its image since before appearing on HBO’s Hard Knocks, but problem guys will always be problem guys.

  3. There goes Ric spewing hot air again. Most of the arrests that the Bengals have occured in locations other than Cincinnati so this theory is wrong. Some were in LA, Talahassee, Houston and now Austin.
    Unfair target? So DUI, assault, theft and providing alcohol to minors are offenses that the police should just let go because they are Bengals players?
    Wow, time for old Ric to find another day job.

  4. Oh that’s rich. But he’s probably right. Those dirty Cincinnati police arrest everyone who is waving firearms into crowds, driving cars down sidewalks while drunk, or beating their wives.
    I’m also sure it’s just police profiling that led the biggest turds in the league (Matt Jones, Pacman Jones, Chris Henry, Cedric Benson, and Tank Johnson) ending up on the Bengals roster. The Bungled FO had nothing to do with that at all….

  5. But……. all of them were doing something stupid. It’s not like the police are barging into their homes and dragging them out to charge them with something. Just talking…

  6. All the arrests these days are on the Kentucky side. Same thing with Chris Jericho and Hurricane Helms.

  7. It’s no surprise. They did it here in Tennessee too – back when (ironically) the same officer seemed to always “happen upon” Steve McNair. They apparently follow the players to wherever they’re hanging out, wait for them and then (sadly) it’s an easy DUI, or worse. Obviously the players have some fault in whatever it is they get in trouble for (another story) but to the point of the discussion, there IS some blatant targeting going on.

  8. Anybody watching Bucher this morning? He’s more than a little flaky. I’m not saying he’s wrong about the police in Cincy, I’m saying the more air time the guy gets, the weirder he is.

  9. It’s a chicken or egg argument. Were Bengals players criminals first and so the police started targeting them? Or did the police target them and find out they were criminals?
    It really doesn’t matter because they’re STILL criminals either way.

  10. While I would normally laugh at a story like this I must actually agree this time. I’ve lived in Cincy for 30 years and the police dept has ALWAYS been known to profile, especially when it comes to athletes. There are rummors that they will actually follow them around waiting for them to slip up so the officer can be part of a story. Sad really. If you are doing something wrong you should get in trouble but noone deserves to be stalked.

  11. I live north of Cincy and don’t see many news reports about Reds players getting arrested or targeted by minorites…so maybe it has less to do with professional athletes and more with people committing crimes.

  12. It’s not exactly a coincidence that a cop just so happens to pull over some 22-year old driving a Lamborghini to discover that he’s been drinking.
    If you want to hand out DUI’s just camp out and any bar or nightclub and pull over every other car. I’d bet you’d find that about half of the average people you stop could get a DUI. Eh, but who cares about average people??? I’m trying to be the hero who catches OchoCinco!! “That’s when the big-bucks start rolling in.” **John Candy – Coming to America voice”
    Cops are humans and are biased and motivated by selfish reasons just like anybody else.

  13. So…what Booger…errrr….Bucher is saying is that they know someone is a Bungles player before they see them weaving as they drive down the road….before they get caught in a motel room with 16 year olds and booze….before they get a call for someone beating their wife…..and before they even consider arresting them?
    Here’s an idea…..how about Booger…errr…Bucher laying some of the blame on the individual themselves? Don’t drink and drive, don’t get caught with booze in motel rooms, and don’t beat your wife. THEN you’re not a target.

  14. Hell, what do you expect to happen when Mike Brown goes talent-shoppin’ with minimum cash and no clue? He’s gonna rake in the dregs of the NFL.
    Maybe he can make a real GM outta that front-office dude who just got a DUI and lied about how much he drank (whats his name?). That sounds just like someone Mikey could scarf up on the cheap…
    The Ben-Gals fans deserve better than what they get from their owner. BUT, they don’t deserve to win the AFCN…
    GO BROWNS!

  15. Bunch of BS. Have lived in Cincinnati for 50 yrs.
    Cincinnati and suburban cops target people breaking the law.
    Now there may have been once instance where the cop knew who he was pulling over.
    Chris Henry making an illegal turn while his license was suspended; driving a car w/ his plate
    “SLIM15”.
    Everyone knew his license was suspended and not to hard to guess who is driving the car w/ that plate.
    And how long has it been since Bucher lived in Cincinnati considering he graduated college in 1983? Could it be he has no idea what he is talking about?

  16. It’s not just Cincy, and not just athletes. Black males driving expensive cars are frequently targeted by police as possible drug dealers.

  17. It isn’t profiling when it is apparently a fact that those that create a lot of the crimes are minorities.

  18. It seems odd that Bengals players get arrested in other cities besides Cincinnati. So do all police everywhere target only bengals players? Just another idiot on espn.

  19. Why don’t we hear about multiple Cincinnati Reds players getting in trouble with the law?

  20. “If I’m not mistaken, it didn’t happen in Cincinnati, so my whole argument goes out the window with this one,” Bucher said.
    *************
    In other words, he just wanted to take this random opportunity to badmouth some cops who had nothing to do with this arrest. Stay classy, Bucher (you axewipe).

  21. Too bad the Bengals are constantly being picked up in Covington, KY and not so much in Cincinnati. So his argument is pretty much out the window. Now I’d say since Covington is constantly pulling atheletes over for little or no reason whatsoever. I have friends who are officers that have talked to Covington cops at seminars and such and they had mentioned that if they run a plate and he’s an athlete, more than likely he’ll be pulled over to check for DUI and other things. So I’d say Bucher needs to focus more on Covington police rather than Cincinnati. Oh and that whole minority thing jwill007 is ignorant. Most of the CIncinnati police force is black and minorities. So don’t make ignorant statements. A black woman who knows nothing about police work and is way out of shape has a better chance of getting hired on at Cincinnati than a white male that’s in shape with police training. I’ve had friends not get jobs there and they passed the all tests with flying colors and a black woman who did mediocre on tests got hired.

  22. The Cincy cops should target Mike Brown. Then maybe the Bungles could manage a consistent winner.

  23. “I live north of Cincy and don’t see many news reports about Reds players getting arrested or targeted by minorites…so maybe it has less to do with professional athletes and more with people committing crimes.”
    “CINCINNATI, June 27 (UPI) — Cincinnati Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips was jailed and charged with reckless driving Friday night, police said.”

  24. The Hogster says:
    June 30, 2010 8:18 AM
    “That’s when the big-bucks start rolling in.” **John Candy – Coming to America voice”
    ———————-
    That was an awesome movie, but that was Louie Anderson, not John Candy. RIP John Candy.

  25. Let’s assume for the moment that it is exactly correct: the Cincinnati Police are targeting athletes.
    Two questions:
    1.) Do the players, knowing this, still make the choice to do stupid and/or illegal things?
    2.) Is this more of an indictment of other police forces that give athletes a pass (Pittsburgh and New York, for example)?
    Also, it seems that Cederic has had most of his problems in Austin. Perhaps they just know him as one of the punks already?

  26. I smell…… the……….. race card!
    Let’s protend for a moment that B/M’s don’t commit more crimes than everyone else….. let’s pretend that the 2 Tampa Bay caucasion police officers who were killed yesterday by, yes you guessed it, were not killed by a B/M, or that the 4 caucasion police officers in Seattle were not killed by a B/M.
    Wait, that’s a fact isn’t it.
    IMO, all B/M’s SHOULD be racially profiled until their murder, robbery, and rape stats come down to those levels of W/M’s.
    B/M’s are naturally more athletic (see NBA & NFL), and apparently naturally more violent. Unless it’s being taught. You decide. The statistics are indisputable, and consistent from year-to-year and from east to west, north to south, in the USA.
    We all see it. Some just look away. Many do actually.

  27. macaw says:
    June 30, 2010 8:32 AM
    It’s not just Cincy, and not just athletes. Black males driving expensive cars are frequently targeted by police as possible drug dealers.
    ————————————————————-
    Your spot on there. If you drive and dress like a drug dealer or a pimp you’ll be profiled like one. Look at me, I be a gangsta, WTF do you expect?

  28. 1) Blacks are targeted in the Cincinnati area as are Bengals players. Lets not forget to mention crooks, theives, & murders coming out of the over the rhine neighborhood. It is completely ignorant to say that. Everyone arrested off that team has done something to warrant being pulled over. Most being ignorant drunks. “Hey, I might kill a family doing what I’m doing. How unfairly targeted am I”.
    2) Do not be that basic woa is me Bengals fan. Plain & simple, this team & their low income salary will continue to have players like Benson & the late Henry that cannot control their actions. The reason being issimple. So damn cheap they sign outkasts to their roster so they don’t have to pay anyone.
    3) Guaranteed loser this season. I’m willing to buy a Bengals fan season tickets to prove so, assuming they are willing to buy my Browns tickets 4 me.

  29. Spungy- That’s the first time since Ryan Freel, about 3-4 years ago, that I’ve heard of a Red getting pulled over and getting into some trouble in Cincy. And Phillips was doing over 70mph in a 35mph zone. He damn well better get pulled over for that.

  30. The fact is, the Bengals team has been filled with players who have a past history of getting into trouble. Some with a long history of problems before they came to Cincinnati.

  31. Here’s a crazy idea for Bengals players – keep your noses clean! If you commit NO CRIMES, you can’t get arrested. Hire a driver/bodygaurd so your never behind the wheel and don’t frequent strip clubs/bars/clubs where sh*t goes down all the time and you won’t get arrested! Just sayin…..

  32. “Tom says:
    June 30, 2010 8:32 AM
    “It isn’t profiling when it is apparently a fact that those that create a lot of the crimes are minorities. “”
    Fact or narrow perception? Hard to tell the difference when your mind operates in a tunnel.

  33. “If you want to hand out DUI’s just camp out and any bar or nightclub and pull over every other car.”
    They are not allowed to do this.
    The Bengals have a lot of arrest because they bring in guys who don’t know how to abide by the rules, plain and simple.

  34. Kind of tired of defending the bengals.
    Profiling or not, if they’re breaking the law, the cops are just doing their jobs. Maybe Bucher should have said that the police don’t put the athletes on a pedestal.
    I’d say that’s why the police aren’t inviting the Bengals to the shooting range to fire illegal semi/full automatic weapons like they do in Pittsburgh.
    Or maybe they don’t do that because handling firearms would violate 75% of the players’ probation terms. The other 25% are cammo-ed up, hunting with Whitworth and Palmer.

  35. I thank God every day for free speech. It’s commentaries like this that start my day off with a good laugh.
    Tkx again for the chuckles–keep em coming.

  36. Well done Tiger, well done. But despite your facts supporting that minorities, who are a far less percentage of the population commting a far higher percentage of crimes, you will still be considered a racist.

  37. I would say 50% of Police are good people honestly trying to to do good things for everyone and these are the cops that we couldn’t live without.
    I also believe 50% are egomaniacs that live on the edge of of being criminals also and use the law as weapon. I don’t know how you clean that up.

  38. Ohh Chris Bucher the worst insider
    when it comes to the NBA, dude never knows
    What the hell he is talking about. As always take it with a grain of salt.

  39. DB26:
    Obviously your street cred is shot calling a team a guaranteed loser when you yourself are a Browns fan. Thats the real joke. Browns fans do like to run there mouths before the season though as its the only time they still have there pride. Good luck fighting to get out of last place again.

  40. Using this data base (http://www.signonsandiego.com/nfl/arrests-database/?appSession=855248833574184) I counted 22 Bengal player arrests since Marvin took over (wow). I excluded one that happened prior to the player actually being drafted by the Bengals and one that wasnt even an arrest or criminal citation. Of the 22 arrests only 6 happened in Cincy, and half of those belong to Chris Henry. I wasnt sure about Leon Hall’s DUI, but I think that was Cincy so I included that one. If it wasnt in Cincy then we are down to only 5.
    So Bucher is basically FOS.

  41. There is no such thing as targeting. The players and ESPN need to stop making excuses and stay away from the booze. You can have a good time without alcohol.

  42. Is there some truth to Bucher’s statement? Definitely. Does it apply in all cases? Definitely not.
    I agree with Seals’ quote about cops. Some are great and the others are nothing more than criminals hiding behind their shields.
    As far as the racial make-up of the criminal element many of you are very naive or just plain dumb. I suggest you take a trip to the nearest federal prison. There are millions of violent Caucasian felons in the system.

  43. Is there some truth to Bucher’s statement? Definitely. Does it apply in all cases? Definitely not.
    I agree with Seals’ quote about cops. Some are great and the others are nothing more than criminals hiding behind their shields.
    As far as the racial make-up of the criminal element many of you are very naive or just plain dumb. I suggest you take a trip to the nearest federal prison. There are millions of violent Caucasian felons in the system.

  44. Bottom line – If you’re being targeted and you’re not doing anything wrong, you’ve got nothing to worry about.
    I live in Cincy and haven’t heard any reports of players complaining that they’ve been harrassed by the police for no reason.
    Ric Bucher is an enabler, just like Mike Brown who continues to give guys that nobody else wants a forth, five, and sixth chance.

  45. Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh police bend over backwards to protect the Steelers who get in trouble. Trust me, I know 2 Pittsburgh cops who tell me these things.

  46. Police anywhere will bend over backwards for Roethlisberger, theroc5156…. I used to party with him in college and he is everything the public thinks he is, and then some…

  47. Cincinnati is a horrible, depressing, run down, ugly, nasty, crime-filled, ass-backwards scar on the midwest. Yes, I’ve been there. I have no clue why *anyone* would live there or stay there. I say the entire city and surrounding area should just all go to war with each other until they’re all dead, then tear down all the buildings, bulldoze it all into Kentucky somehwere, and reclaim the area as farm land.
    Aaaahhh, that’s better.

  48. “…accuses Cincinnati police of targeting Bengals”
    ————————————————–
    Only with their service weapons!

  49. It amazes me what absolute mongoloids post on this website. “Well they wear striped uniforms, so…”, “Bungles do it again…” “Derka Derka Derka Mohammed Jihad”. Joke. Benson has a history of making bad decisions and going out AGAIN in Austin over Memorial Day weekend at a bar was another one. However, if you objectively read between the lines on the story, it really seems as if he was defending himself and kind of got the runaround by the police in TX. Adam Schefter of ESPN called this situation “minor” in the eyes of the League office and the Bengals beat writer, Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer, believes that Benson won’t be suspended. This will blow over soon.
    As for cops targeting Bengal players, I don’t really doubt that. But, it’s not like they don’t have reason to target them. I’m sure they’re up to date with Bengals news and know when they bring in players with histories like Tank Johnson, Cedric Benson, Adam Jones, etc.

  50. How come you don’t ever see any Reds getting arrested if the cops are targeting athletes?
    I’d bet if the guys getting popped stopped “actin like fools” they wouldn’t have these incidents.

  51. That Rice Buger guy is full of it. Not all Cinci athletes get arrested, just FB. Most arrests not in Cinci. The conclusion is inescable: The FB team is more criminal than the avg Cinci citizen.

  52. Hell if you think the police are bad in Cincinnati you should check out the racist sports media in Cincy. They love their gritty,gamer, less athletic whiteboy athletes but cant stand the star black athletes wiling to stand up to them and tell them were to go. And the same goes for the 2 black coaches in town. The Cincy sports media has been trying to get rid of Marvin Lewis and Dusty Baker since day one. Everybody knows Cincinnati is a racist town and the police and media are just like the media. You dont get a reputation as a racist city unless there is some truth to it. Just ask Chad, Griffey Jr. Vada Oinson, Frank Robinson, Oscar robertson, Eric davis, Barry Larkin, dan Wilkerson,Corey Patterson and Brandon Phillips.

  53. “don’t see many news reports about Reds players getting arrested or targeted by minorites…”
    “CINCINNATI, June 27 (UPI) — Cincinnati Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips was jailed and charged with reckless driving Friday night, police said.”
    might be more but there are a lot less black multi millionairs in baseball these days.

  54. TrashTalkingTony says:
    If you’re going back to the Big O then go further to Jackie Robinson, who took a lot of crap from Cincinnati fans and players.
    A friend of mine who’s from Cincinnati used to call the area around the city “O’Tucky.”

  55. So, a Cincinnati cop profiled Benson and then somehow used his powers of telepathy to transmit his intentions to a colleague in Texas where Benson was arrested?
    Yeah, some serious profiling going on there.
    Bottom line – has there been much doubt about the crimes the Bungles have committed? No, I’m not talking about them impersonating a professional football team, I mean the real crimes. You know, like assault, disorderly conduct, DUI, etc? Yeah, no doubt there, is there?
    So who gives a crap if the cops are profiling? If they are catching criminals, good. If they’re hassling innocent citizens, bad. But guess what, they’re catching criminals in this case. Don’t recall a single episode where it was proven a Cincy cop profiled a Bengals player for no good reason.
    This isn’t a shakedown of the good citizens of Cincinnati. These are legitimate arrests of people who have committed crimes. Period.

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