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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.