Black NFL players arrested nearly 10 times as often as whites
A police officer in Cincinnati watched a large black man get into his car and turn on the engine after being told it was illegally parked.
The officer thought the man was trying to avoid a parking ticket and told him to stop. So the man — Matthias Askew, at the time an NFL player — stopped his Cadillac Escalade, got out and was arrested in a scuffle with several officers. Police used a stun gun on Askew four times, alleging he resisted arrest.
Matthias Askew's Team Photo from the 2006 Cincinnati Bengals
A judge rejected the police account and cleared Askew of all charges.
"They tased him simply because he was a big black man, not because he did anything to make them fear for their safety," Askew's former attorney, Ken Lawson, told USA TODAY Sports about the 2006 incident.
For many black players in the NFL, it's a familiar scene. Of 687 NFL player arrests since January 2000, Askew's was one of 294 that came in a traffic stop, according to a USA TODAY Sports investigation. In a league in which 66% of the players are black and 31% are white, black players were arrested nearly 10 times as often as white players (260 to 28), accounting for 88% of those NFL traffic-stop arrests.
-- MODMAN'S TAKE: "Tasering him simply because he was a big black man, not because he did anything to make them fear for their safety" -- Askew's Attorney. Well - what else would he say? Employing a taser implies the situation had obviously escalated well beyond civil.
Benefit of the doubt: Cops. Weak take: Playing the race card. 10x the arrests is a them problem - not a cop problem.