Michael Bennett Makes Up False Claims Of Racial Profiling
On Wednesday, NFL player Michael Bennett released a statement in which he accused Last Vegas Metro officers of pointing their guns at him for “doing nothing more than simply being a black man in the wrong place at the wrong time.” (video below)
Later on Wednesday, Las Vegas Metro responded to his allegations with what actually happened.
Before we get into the details, here is a statement released by Michael Bennett on Wednesday:
On Saturday, August 26, 2017 was in Las Vegas to attend the Mayweather-McGregor fight on my day off. After the fight while heading back to my hotel several hundred people heard what sounded like gunshots.
Like many of the people in the area ran away from the sound, looking for safety. Las Vegas police officers singled me out and pointed their guns at me for doing nothing more than simply being a black man in the wrong place at the wrong time.
A police officer ordered me to get on the ground. As laid on the ground, complying with his commands to not move, he placed his gun near my head and warned me that if moved he would “blow my fucking head off.”
Terrified and confused by what was taking place, a second Officer came over and forcefully jammed his knee into my back making it difficult for me to breathe. They then cinched the handcuffs on my wrists so tight that my fingers went numb.
The Officers’ excessive use of force was unbearable. I felt helpless as lay there on the ground handcuffed facing the real-life threat of being killed. All 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 thought of my girls. Would ever play with them again? Or watch them have kids? Or be able to kiss my wife again and tell her 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 sat for what felt like an eternity until they apparently realized was not a thug, common criminal or ordinary black man but Michael Bennett a famous professional football player.
After confirming my identity, I was ultimately released without any legitimate justification for the Officers’ abusive conduct.
I have always held a strong conviction that protesting or standing up for justice is just simply, the right thing to do.
This fact is unequivocally, without question why before every game, 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 “Nigger,” you will be treated that way.
The system failed me. I can only imagine what Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, and Charleena Lyles felt.
I have retained Oakland Civil Rights Attorney John Burris to investigate and explore all my legal options including filing a civil rights lawsuit for the violation of my constitutional rights.
Undersheriff Kevin McMahill responded later in the day to Bennett’s accusations, and made it clear that Bennett’s version of events are not accurate.
At the press conference, Undersheriff McMahill explained that on August 26 at around 1:30 AM, officers were responding to multiple reports of an active shooter.
The undersheriff played body camera video, and you can see a group of officers rushing together towards where the gunfire was reported. The officers cleared the casino floor, helping to evacuate people of all skin colors, including other black males.
After the officers cleared the casino floor, they were going towards a nightclub where they believed the shooter may be. On their way, officers saw Bennett crouched behind a gaming machine, and he took off running after officers spotted him.
Two Hispanic officers pursued as Bennett jumped over a barrier into the middle of traffic. One of the officers was able to cuff him and he was detained for 10 minutes while the officers determined that he was not involved.
A supervisor responded and explained to Bennett why he was detained, and he told the supervisors that he understood and had no issues with what had happened besides having a gun pointed at his head.
The active shooter reports were later determined to be a false alarm from loud banging which people thought were gunshots.
To this day, Bennett has never filed a complaint.
Despite Bennett being in an area where there were many other black males, and his actions made it appear that he was fleeing from police at a reported active shooter scene, and he jumped into traffic to get away, he still chose to release a statement claiming that he was detained for no other reason than being black, rather than contacting anybody at Las Vegas Metro.
Las Vegas Metro PD has opened an internal affairs investigation, despite there being no formal complaint made, and they are investigating if Bennett’s claims about a gun being pointed at him or any of his other claims are accurate.
Do you think that Bennett is just trying to manufacture controversy with false claims that he knows people will believe without fact checking? We’d like to hear from you. Please let us know in the comments.
You can see video below of Bennett being cuffed in the roadway: