Michael Bennett Was Not Racially Profiled: Sheriff

Police officers who detained the Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett, a black man, as he ran from a reported active shooter at a Casino were not guilty of racially profiling the footballer, the Las Vegas police chief said Friday.

Bennett was detained at gunpoint, handcuffed and seated in a patrol car for 10 minutes early on August 27 while police searched the casino, where Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor had been fighting a boxing match, the Chicago Tribune reported. Police ultimately realized reports of shots were a false alarm.


Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett at a press conference in Phoenix, Arizona, January 29 2015. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Seahawks star had tweeted that he was detained violently and feared it was because he is black, but a police review that looked at hundreds of videos, including from body cameras, has concluded that none of the three officers who had direct contact with Bennett profiled him by race or used more force than was acceptable, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said.

“Mr. Bennett has a valid perspective as a person who experienced a reasonable-suspicion stop for a felony crime,” Lombardo told reporters. “Those who experience such a stop, especially when they have not committed a crime, are not likely to feel good about it.”

Video from the incident shows an officer with his weapon drawn, handcuffing Bennett on the ground in the road on Las Vegas Boulevard, next to the Cromwell Casino.

Bennett alleged that an officer had placed a gun to his head and threatened to blow it off. But Lombardo said there was nothing to support this allegation. “From the evidence we have at this point, we don’t know (the officer) said that,” the sheriff said.

In a Twitter post more than a week after the incident, Bennett had said that “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…

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