By Frederick H. Lowe
A Las Vegas police officer pointed a gun at Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett’s head and threatened to kill him if he moved after arresting him for no reason on Saturday, August 26. Bennett posted his experience on twitter.
Bennett was walking to his hotel after attending the Mayweather-McGregor fight when he and other members of a crowd heard what they believed were gunshots.
“Like many people in the area, I ran away from the sound, looking for safety,” Bennett said.
Police, however, singled him out, placing a gun near his head, warning him not to move and if he did, he would blow “ ‘my fucking head off,’ ” Bennett charged. The cop ignored Bennett’s pleas that “he had not done nothing.”
Bennett was lying on his stomach and a second cop came over and put a knee in his back, making it difficult for Bennett to breathe. The cop handcuffed Bennett, cinching the handcuffs so tightly his fingers went numb.
What was going through Bennett’s mind is that the cops would murder him for being a black man in the wrong place at the wrong time. “My life flashed through my eyes as I thought of my girls. Would I ever play with them again? Or watch them have kids? Or kiss my wife again and tell her I love her.”
When police learned that Bennett played for the Seahawks, they took the handcuffs off and released him without an explanation or an apology.
The Las Vegas police said the officer arrested Bennett because he was acting suspiciously, two words black men often hear from the police. The cops said Bennett was hiding behind a gaming machine before he jumped over a fence.
As it turned out, there were no gunshots.
The police union, however, wants the NFL to investigate Bennett’s allegations that he was arrested after being racially profiled.
Roger Goodell, commissioner of the NFL, supported Bennett who he said represents the best of the NFL— “a leader on his team and in his community.” Goodell said there will be no investigation.
Bennett has hired a lawyer and intends to sue the police department.