Video: Seattle Seahawks player arrested, says he was targeted by police
Sources said police ordered everyone to get down when they responded to a possible shooting, but Michael Bennett ran
By PoliceOne Staff
LAS VEGAS — Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett claims he was targeted by police when he was in Las Vegas last month.
According to NPR, Bennett was heading back to his hotel after attending the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight on Aug. 26 when he and hundreds of other people heard something that sounded like gunshots.
"Like many of the people in the area I ran away from the sound, looking for safety," he wrote on Twitter Wednesday. "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."
Bennett alleges that police ordered him onto the ground, where he complied with commands, but an officer placed a gun to his head.
“[The officer] warned me that if I moved he would 'blow my fucking head off,'” he wrote. “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."
TMZ Sports posted video showing Bennett being handcuffed by an officer while he was face-down on the ground. He can be heard saying, “I wasn’t doing nothing!”
Sources close to the investigation told TMZ that when police responded to a possible shooting at the club, they told everyone to get on the ground so they could thoroughly search. But Bennett didn’t stay put and ran outside until an officer drew his gun, stopped him and ordered him to the ground.
Bennett has hired civil rights attorney John Burris and is exploring legal options, NPR reported.
"We think there was an unlawful detention and the use of excessive force, with a gun put to his head," Burris told the Associated Press. "He was just in the crowd. He doesn't drink or do drugs. He wasn't in a fight. He wasn't resisting. He did nothing more or less than anyone in the crowd."
According to the Associated Press, police are investigating the incident and couldn’t comment on Bennett’s account.