Some people will never understand.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department came out and defended the arrest of Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett. on Sept. 6. The statement from the department comes after Bennett released a letter on social media that said he planned on filing a civil suit against the department after racially profiling and using excessive force on him during his arrest.
“Many of the folks today have called this an incident of biased-based policing,” LVMPD Undersheriff Kevin McMahlil said. “Police officers focus solely on the race of an individual that they are going to stop. I can tell you, as I stand here today, that I see no evidence of that. I see no evidence that race played any role in this incident. In fact, as you’ll notice in this video as I play for you while officers were searching the casino, they were able to safely evacuate many patrons of all races. It’s also important for me to note to you that both of the officer involved in this incident in question are of Hispanic origin.”
Fox Sports Radio personality JT the Brick, among others, advised the public to wait for all of the facts to come out in the case before passing judgment. JT the Brick is a 51-year-old White man. Most who have been — or associated with someone who has been — subject to negative encounters with law enforcement, likely understood the video clip and Bennett’s letter completely from the initial impression.
The LVMPD and Bennett said there was believed to be an active shooter a couple of hours after the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight in a Las Vegas casino. Many patrons ran out of the casino and a squad of officers entered the casino to capture the alleged shooter. After making two rounds around the casino and ordering patrons to evacuate the area, one officer pointed out that Bennett was running and a group from the squad proceeded to pursue him. An officer jumped over the wall and arrested Bennett, as the video shows, with Bennett’s head pushed against the ground and another officer pointing a gun at his head. After verifying the identity of Bennett, the Seahawk was released 10 minutes after the arrest, according to the LVMPD.
Bennett has been one of the most outspoken players in the NFL not only defending Colin Kaepernick, but Black Lives Matter among other activist efforts. This arrest and video should be the perfect storm for someone that doesn’t understand the point of the national anthem protest to finally “get it.” Instead, echoes of “wait for the full story” come out once again.
The LVMPD can’t confirm that an actual shooting took place at the casino that night, and that patrons were running from loud noises they believed to be gunshots. In a room full of people running, a 6-foot-4, 274-pound bearded Black man was singled out as the potential shooter.
Unfortunately, Bennett’s arrest won’t change anything in the NFL. Owners are still afraid to sign Kaepernick because of public relations fears. Owners still won’t sign Kaepernick out of fear of facing the blemishes in the country instead of only the positive. Many members of the NFL community, even the likes of Aaron Rodgers, may come out to support Bennett initially, but they won’t pursue any efforts to bridge law enforcement’s relationship with the Black community. With the season starting tonight, the discussion of this arrest will fade and more people are going to be talking about who Seattle beat in Week 10 as opposed to this incident. It’s on to the regularly scheduled program for the league.