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The NFL said Thursday it has no plans to investigate
His voice cracking and tears streaming down his face, Packers tight end Martellus Bennett spoke about the emotions he felt after seeing the video of his brother, Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett, being handcuffed and detained by Las Vegas police.
Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett said he is considering filing a civil rights lawsuit after an incident in Las Vegas last month in which he says police officers pointed guns at him and used excessive force.
The incident occurred in the early morning hours on Aug. 27, after the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight in Las Vegas, when police apprehended Bennett after hearing what sounded like gunshots in a crowded area. Bennett wrote on Twitter that 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.
Bennett wrote that one officer, with his gun drawn, warned him that he would “blow my f—ing head off” if he moved. Another officer jammed his knee into Bennett’s back and handcuffed him, according to Bennett.
“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.'”
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Undersheriff Kevin McMahill said Wednesday that his department has launched an internal investigation into the events of that night.
McMahill said he had found “no evidence that race played any role in this incident.”
McMahill said that officers were investigating what they thought was an active shooter in a nightclub. As people ran from a club, an officer spotted Bennett crouched by some machines. McMahill said that when the officer spotted Bennett, Bennett took off running out of the club and officers pursued him before taking him down and putting him in cuffs.
Later, when asked why Bennett had been singled out, McMahill said he did not know but that he hoped the investigation would make that more clear.
Wednesday night, commissioner Goodell issued a statement in support of Bennett, saying he “represents the best of the NFL — a leader on his team and in his community.”
“Our foremost concern is the welfare of Michael and his family,” Goodell said in his statement. “While we understand the Las Vegas police department will address this later this evening, the issues Michael has been raising deserve serious attention from all of our leaders in every community. We will support Michael and all NFL players in promoting mutual respect between law enforcement and the communities they loyally serve and fair and equal treatment under the law.”