Michael Bennett on Vegas police encounter: ‘He warned me that if I moved he would ‘blow my (expletive) head off’
An outspoken advocate for victims of police brutality and racism, Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett found himself in a similarly perilous position Aug. 26, when he says he was subjected to excessive force by Las Vegas police officers, including at one point having a gun held to his head.
Bennett posted a chilling account of the event to Twitter Wednesday.
“A police officer ordered me to get on the ground,” Bennett wrote. “As I laid on the ground, complying with his commands to not move, he placed his gun near my head and warned me that if I moved he would ‘blow my (expletive) head off’.”
— Michael Bennett (@mosesbread72) September 6, 2017
Bennett said he has retained a civil rights attorney and is prepared to “explore all my legal options, including filing a civil rights lawsuit for the violation of my constitutional rights.”
TMZ Sports has released a video of the encounter, captured by a bystander. (Warning: language)
In a Wednesday afternoon press conference, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department undersheriff Kevin McMahill clarified the department’s account of the incident. He said officers responded to a call from the Cromwell casino at approximately 1:30 a.m. The call was initially broadcasted as an assault, and later updated to an active shooter situation.
While searching for an active shooter, an officer noticed Bennett crouched near a gaming machine. Two officers gave chase when the individual (later identified as Bennett) ran out of the casino and onto the strip. Both officers were armed with handguns, and the arresting officer did not turn on his body camera.
“If the investigation reveals that any policies or training were violated, those officers will be held accountable,” McMahill said.
Here is a statement from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
A statement from @nflcommish, who says #Seahawks DL Michael Bennett represents the "best of the NFL." pic.twitter.com/S5G9Vjais9
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 6, 2017