Las Vegas police released video Friday of Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett’s run-in the police on Aug. 27, as Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo announced there is nothing to support Bennett’s claim of racial profiling or excessive force.
Lombardo did note that the body camera of one officer was not turned on.
Lombardo said he was not trying to “disparage” Bennett, but instead reporting that there are “two sides to every story.”
“Mr. Bennett has a valid perspective as a person who experienced a reasonable suspicion stop for a felony crime,” Lombardo said at a Friday news conference. “Those who experience such a stop, especially when they have not committed a crime, are not likely to feel good about it. But there is a reason why officers are trained to do what they do and what they did that night.”
Bennett told the world about the incident via Twitter on Sept 6. He said officers pointed guns at him “for doing nothing more than simply being a black man in the wrong place at the wrong time” and ordered him to lie down on the ground.
He claimed one officer said he would “blow my f***ing head off” if he moved. Another officer jammed his knee into Bennett’s back when he was handcuffed, Bennett claimed.
“The Officers’ excessive use of force was unbearable,” Bennett wrote. “I felt helpless as I lay there on the ground handcuffed facing the real-life threat of being killed. All I could think of was ‘I’m going to die for no other reason than I am black and my skin color is somehow a threat.’”
Bennett said he never received “any legitimate justification for the Officers’ abusive conduct” and was released because officers “apparently realized I was not a thug, common criminal or ordinary black man but Michael Bennett a famous professional football player.”
The incident took place at the Cromwell Hotel and Casino, when there were reports of shots fired that were later found to be erroneous. Bennett can be seen on a police body camera running. He was one of the few people in the immediate area running while most were on the ground. Police pursued him thinking he might be the shooter.
The video shows police interacting with Bennett while he was in the police car, explaining they needed to ensure he wasn’t a threat, which they did within minutes before letting let him go.
WARNING: The following video contains profane language that some viewers will find offensive.
Bennett told reporters earlier this month that the incident was “a traumatic experience for me and my family” and that he was considering filing a civil rights lawsuit.
But after the video footage was released, Las Vegas police union official Steve Grammas said he believed Bennett owes the officers an apology.
The officer who handcuffed Bennett might face departmental discipline for not having his body camera on during the incident, Lombardo said.
Otherwise, “I believe they acted appropriately and professionally,” he said of the officers involved in the incident.
What do you think? Scroll down to comment below.
source: Western Journalism