The Las Vegas Police Protective Association called on the NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, to "take appropriate action" against the Seattle Seahawks' defensive end Michael Bennett on Thursday after he claimed that Las Vegas police racially profiled him on Aug. 26.
“I hope to have a discussion with Commissioner Goodell so we can have a conversation about these allegations that our officers are racist and racially profiled Mr. Bennett,” Steve Grammas, president of the Las Vegas Police Protective Association, told USA TODAY. “We don’t like players from the National Football League making false allegations, which, I feel, is a violation of the NFL’s personal conduct policy.”
The news comes days after Michael Bennett described how police pointed a gun at him after the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight.
Las Vegas police under sheriff Kevin McMahill told reporters at a news conference Wednesday that his officers were responding to a report of an active shooter situation at The Cromwell Las Vegas Hotel & Casino during the time of the event.
McMahill claimed that one of the officers pointed a gun in Bennett's direction because Bennett was seen "crouched down behind a gaming machine."
Bennett was later detained by police.
Grammas wrote a letter to Goodell, demanding that he investigate Bennett's allegations.
“Our officers had reasonable suspicion, which is the constitutional standard, to detain Bennett until they could determine whether he was involved in the shooting,” Grammas said in the letter to Goodell.
“Our officers, who are both minorities, had the legal right, an obligation, to detain Bennett based on the nature of the call and Bennett’s unusual and suspicious actions. Our officers did not detain Bennett because he was, 'a black man in the wrong place at the wrong time,'" he added.
Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll showed his support for Michael Bennett on Twitter after the defensive end claimed that he was abused by police officers following the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight Aug. 26.
"What happened with Michael is a classic illustration of the reality of inequality demonstrated daily," he said in a statement. "May this incident inspire all of us to respond with compassion when inequalities are brought to light, and allow us to have the courage to stand for change."
Carroll's statement comes day after Bennett posted a message on his Twitter account Wednesday describing an encounter he had with the Las Vegas police after the boxing match.
“After the fight while heading back to my hotel several hundred people heard what sounded like gun shots," Bennett said.
“Like many of the people in the area I ran away from the sound, looking for safety,” Bennett continued. “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.”
In August, the 31-year-old announced that he will sit down during the national anthem at preseason games to protest police brutality.
His announcement sparked criticism on the internet.
National Football League (NFL) star Michael Bennett on Wednesday accused Las Vegas police of pointing guns at him during a recent incident there.
Bennett also claimed that law officers also used excessive force against him during their Aug. 26 encounter.
The professional athlete added that the confrontation occurred after the super fight between boxer Floyd Mayweather and mixed martial artist Conor McGregor that evening.
“After the fight while heading back to my hotel several hundred people heard what sounded like gun shots,” he said in a statement on Twitter.
“Like many of the people in the area I ran away from the sound, looking for safety,” added Bennett, a defensive end for the Seattle Seahawks.
“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 said he was then subjected to an “excessive use of force” from the officers that felt “unbearable.”
“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 f-----g head off,’” he said of the officer who ordered him onto the ground.
“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,” Bennett continued.
“They then cinched the handcuffs on my wrists so tight that my fingers went numb. My life flashed before my eyes as I thought of my girls.”
Bennett added that he was exploring all his legal options after the incident, including a possible civil rights lawsuit.
“The system failed me,” he said. “After confirming my identity, I was ultimately released without any legitimate justification for the Officers’ abusive conduct.”
Bennett noted he has retained John Burris, a civil rights lawyer based in Oakland, to examine the incident and determine his legal options.
The football player is a vocal advocate for racial equality, social justice and stopping police brutality.