A New York City police union said Detroit Lions linebacker Trevor Bates's actions were “beyond that of a wild animal” when he was arrested early Saturday morning.
The Sergeants Benevolent Association is facing criticism for its language in describing Bates’s behavior, according to The New York Times.
Bates was arrested for allegedly refusing to pay his cab fare in Queens.
The union said after his arrest on Saturday that he punched an officer who was trying to fingerprint him.
It also said Bates was "tasered & ripped the taser prongs from his body.”
It added that “he’s dog crap and the NFL condones criminals.”
Trevor Bates acted beyond that of a wild animal. He refused to be fingerprinted, showed disdain for the officers & decided to punch a Sgt in the face. Fighting with officers he was tasered & ripped the taser prongs from his body. He’s dog crap and the NFL condones criminals. https://t.co/sAd9rMKWHb— SBA (@SBANYPD) January 26, 2019
Joo-Hyun Kang, director of Communities United for Police Reform, decried the “racist” language used by the union.
“If the allegations against Bates, including not paying his cab fare are true, he should be held accountable,” she told the Times. “But the constant use by N.Y.P.D. unions of racist dog whistles to dehumanize and criminalize black communities must be condemned, and end.”
As of Monday, the union had not posted a follow-up statement or tweet and did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.
The Lions said on Saturday that the team was aware of Bates’s arrest.
“We have not spoken to Trevor as of yet and are still in the process of gathering more information,” a statement from the team's executive vice president, Bob Quinn, reads. “The Detroit Lions will have no further comment at this time.”
Statement from Bob Quinn: pic.twitter.com/a8tLPKnO5u— Detroit Lions (@Lions) January 26, 2019
Bates is being held on charges of assault, resisting arrest, theft of services and obstructing governmental administration, according to the Queens District Attorney’s office. He could face up to seven years in prison if convicted.
Bates was reportedly admitted to a hospital on Sunday to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
He played at the University of Maine and was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in 2016.