Over the weekend, Detroit Lions linebacker Trevor Bates was charged with attacking a police officer, after being arrested for allegedly refusing to pay a cab driver in Queens. The injured officer, a sergeant, was treated for a concussion and given three stitches, prompting his union to declare that Bates "acted beyond that of a wild animal."

According to the Queens District Attorney's office, around 1:30 a.m. on January 26th, police responded to a call from a yellow cab driver at the Hampton Inn, located at 102-40 Ditmars Boulevard, who said his passenger had refused to pay a $32 fare. A statement from the D.A. claims that Bates, 25, was arrested and taken to the 115th Precinct, where he "was informed that as long as there were no outstanding warrants, he would receive a DAT (desk appearance ticket) and then be allowed to leave. At which time, Bates refused to be printed and became increasingly agitated. As NYPD Sergeant James O’Brien attempted to calm the defendant down, the defendant punched him in the face and need to be tased in order to subdue him."

The Post reports that Bates "was taken Bellevue Hospital for observation" while awaiting arraignment for assault, obstruction, theft and resisting-arrest charges.

On Saturday afternoon, the Sergeants Benevolent Association tweeted, "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. "

Joo-Hyun Kang, director of Communities United for Police Reform, told the NY Times that the SBA's remarks were racist: "If the allegations against Bates, including not paying his cab fare are true, he should be held accountable. 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." She noted how Patrolmen's Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch used the term "mutt" to describe a 16-year-old who was sentenced to 16 months to four years for dragging a police officer with a car.

Ed Mullins, head of the SBA, denied the Tweet was racist, and said in an interview with the NY Times that the uproar "is nonsense and an accusation [of racism] probably designed to change the topic... Those making the accusations better do their homework as to facts and not a smear campaign."

The SBA is pretty anti-NFL, per their Twitter, apparently partly due to players' "take a knee" movement:

The only statement the Lions have released is from general manager Bob Quinn, who said on Saturday, "We are aware of the arrest of Trevor Bates earlier today in New York. We have not spoken to Trevor as of yet and are still in the process of gathering more information. The Detroit Lions will have no further comment at this time."