Netizen 24 AUS: Bennett accuses Las Vegas police of excessive force

Bennett accuses Las Vegas police of excessive force Around the NFL ...

Bennett accuses Las Vegas police of excessive force

Around the NFL

Bennett accuses Las Vegas police of excessive force Print
  • By Around The NFL staff NFL.com
  • Published: Sept. 6, 2017 at 02:45 p.m.
  • By Around The NFL staff NFL.com
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Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett is considering filing a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Dept. for allegedly using excessive force on him as they investigated what initially was reported as a shooting last month.

In a statement posted to Twitter on Wednesday morning, Bennett described the chaotic situation he was involved in on the way back to his hotel early on the morning of Sunday, Aug. 27 following the Floyd Mayweather-Connor McGregor fight. He said police singled him out among a group of people who were fleeing away from what sounded like gunshots. Bennett said a police officer ordered him to the ground, pointed a gun at his head and told him not to move or he would "blow my [expletive] head off." Bennett said a second officer forcefully jammed his knee into his back, making it difficult for him to breathe, before handcuffing him and eventually putting him in the back of a police car.

"I felt helpless as I lay there on the ground handcuffed facing the real-life threat of being killed," Bennett wro te. "All I could think of was 'I'm going to die for no other reason than I am black and my skin color is somehow a threat.' My life flashed before my eyes as I thought of my girls. Would I ever play with them again? Or watch them have kids? Or be able to kiss my wife again and tell her I love her? I kept asking the officers 'What did I do?' and reminding them that I had rights they were duty bound to respect. The officers ignored my pleas and instead told me to shut up and then took me to the back of a nearby police car where I sat for what felt like an eternity until they apparently realized I was not a thug, common criminal or ordinary black man but Michael Bennett a famous professional football player."

Las Vegas police did not immediately respond to NFL.com's request for comment. Las Vegas Police Officer Jacinto Rivera told The Associated Press Las Vegas police are checking for video and written reports but can't immediatel y verify Bennett's account.

"This case is under investigation. Reserve judgment. We will address this publicly today," the official Las Vegas Police Department's Twitter account posted Wednesday.

Bennett was not arrested or charged in the matter.

The incident occurred nearly two weeks after Bennett first sat during the national anthem before a preseason game against the Los Angeles Rams to raise awareness to racism and violence in the wake of the events in Charlottesville, Virginia. Bennett said he plans to sit during the anthem all season.

"This fact is unequivocally, without question why before every game, I sit during the national anthem -- because equality doesn't live in this country and no matter how much money you make, what job title you have, or how much you give, when you are seen as a 'N-----,' you will be treated that way," Bennett wrote. "The system failed me. I can only imagin e what Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, and Charleena Lyles felt."

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