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Michael Bennett Claims He Was Wrongly Arrested, Assaulted by Police [UPDATE]

After the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight in Vegas, Bennett claims police wrongfully arrested him and, in a note on Twitter, wrote that one cop told him he would "blow my fucking head off" if he moved.
Kirby Lee—USA TODAY Sports

After attending Mayweather vs. McGregor in Las Vegas, Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett was walking down the strip, when all of a sudden he and "several hundred people heard what sounded like gunshots." Bennett detailed the experience in a letter posted on Twitter today, and claimed that after he ran away from the sound, police swarmed the area, singled him out, and used excessive force to arrest him.


"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 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.'"

Bennett then goes on to detail the arrest and fearing for his life as an officer jammed their knee into his back to the point that he couldn't breathe and tightened cuffs on him until he couldn't feel his fingers. According to Bennett, he was released after they realized he was a famous football player and not a "thug, common criminal, or ordinary black man."

Bennett, who has become a strong activist voice in the NFL community didn't hesitate to give the incident its proper context:

"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, I 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."

Here Bennett's letter in full:

Bennett's letter coincides with a recent profile of the Seahawks defensive end in the Undefeated titled "Seahawks' Michael Bennett is an Activist Disguised as a Football Player," which outlines how Bennett has become an outspoken activist alongside Colin Kaepernick's national anthem protests. In it, he describes his dream scenario for a full-throated show of support from his colleagues.


"Imagine me, Tom Brady, Colin Kaepernick, Aaron Rodgers, Greg Olsen, my brother [Martellus Bennett] just sitting on stage and being like, 'We're tired of what's going on in America. We want to fight for women's equality. We want to fight to make sure that minority kids feel like they have a place. We want to challenge our brands and our leagues to make sure this is happening.' People are going to fall in line. It's going to be the biggest thing that ever happened."

Bennett catches himself. He realizes such a grand display of unity may never happen. But he does have a plea:

"Don't love us just when we catch the ball. Love us for our culture and what we're going through and what we did in society and how we've been persecuted since we've been here.

Bennett has hired Oakland-based civil rights attorney John Burris to look into his legal options, to take action against the Las Vegas Police for the alleged use of excessive force. Burris released the following statement, obtained by NFL Insider Ian Rapoport:

Colin Kaepernick, who has been relatively quiet during his free agency, tweeted out a message in solidarity with Bennett:

Bennett's head coach Pete Carroll at Seattle also spoke out against the Las Vegas Police Department:


TMZ has released what seems like a pedestrian video of Bennett being arrested:

In the video, you can hear police saying, "Put your fucking hands up!" and "Put them behind your back," as an officer used a knee to pin down Bennett's arms—similar to Bennett's description. The video doesn't appear to show Bennett's claim that the officer threatened to "blow my fucking head off," though there is a fair bit of indistinguishable language, and the threat could have occurred before or after the footage rolled.

In the video, Bennett is heard saying, "It wasn't me, man. I wasn't doing nothing." An officer then says, "who had a gun?" Bennett continues, "You need to ask me a question. I was here with my friends. They told us to get out—everybody ran. Can you ask me a question, sir?"