Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett wrote a lengthy, visceral account of a police encounter that occurred as he was returning to his hotel from watching the Floyd Mayweather Vs. Conor McGregor fight in Las Vegas on August 26th. "Several hundred people heard what sounded like gun shots," Bennett wrote. He attempted to run to safety like the others, but was "singled out" by police officers for "being a black man in the wrong place at the wrong time."
"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 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."
Bennett said he was eventually released "without any legitimate justification for the Officers' abusive conduct" once they confirmed his identity while he was in the back of a police car. Bennett has since retained an attorney to "investigate and explore all my legal options including filing a civil rights lawsuit for the violation of my constitutional rights."
Rolling Stone has reached out to the Las Vegas Metro PD for comment. They are reportedly investigating the incident.
Equality. pic.twitter.com/NQ4pJt94AZ— Michael Bennett (@mosesbread72) September 6, 2017
On Wednesday, Bennett's attorney released a statement saying his client was "unarmed, sober and not involved in any altercations or dispute at the time the police officers arrested and threatened to use deadly force against him," according to ESPN.
"The system failed me,” Bennett wrote. "I can only imagine what Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, and Charleena Lyles felt."
TMZ posted this video of the incident on YouTube:
Bennett's brother, Martellus Bennett, said on Instagram that the phone call he received from Michael that night was "a scary one."
Former 49ers player Colin Kaepernick tweeted in response to Bennett's post, "this violation that happened against my Brother Michael Bennett is disgusting and unjust. I stand with Michael and I stand with the people." Seahawks center Justin Britt also tweeted his support, saying "I stand with you Mike. #Equality."
Via @mosesbread72 the call that night was a scary one. The emotion and the thought of almost losing you because of the way you look left me in one of the saddest places ever. I could hear the fear in your voice, the tears in your eyes as well your sprinting heart beat. I can't imagine how the people who lost their loved ones felt when they got the call. A lot of people feel like it couldn't happen to them because of status, neighborhood ("tghat only happens in the hood") or whatever, but it all honesty YOU could be next. I COULD BE NEXT. YOUR SON, DAUGHTER, BROTHER, FATHER, GRANDPA, SISTER, COUSIN could be next. I'm sad that you have to share this type of experience with the world but at the same time I'm happy that it happened to you and you lived to talk about it because we all know you're going to talk about it. Lol. The conversation is growing and I'm glad your voice is one of the ones being heard. You are as real as they come, well at least how they used to come. I encourage you to Continue telling your story and the stories of those that came before. I love you very much @mosesbread72 to me you're much more than a nigger.