There’s always another side to the story, isn’t there?
Michael Bennett, a defensive end for the Seattle Seahawks, claimed that while he was in Las Vegas for the Mayweather-McGregor fight, he was racially-profiled by Las Vegas police, who held him down at gun point after reports of a shooting at the Cromwell Las Vegas Hotel & Casino. When Bennett ranted on Twitter that cops drew a gun on him “for doing nothing more than simply being a black man,” lots of people took him at face value – to not do so would be racist, we were told.
Except that’s not what happened.
Sources told TMZ Sports that when police arrived on the scene, they ordered everyone to get on the ground and not move. You know, standard procedure when there may have just been gun shots.
Instead of following the cops’ orders, Bennett ran outside, where he ended up being detained.
Las Vegas police undersheriff Kevin McMahill said during a press conference Wednesday that officers pursued Bennett after he was seen crouching behind a gaming machine before he ran out of the casino.
Especially after a shooting, if the cops tell you not to move and instead you run, WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK IS GOING TO HAPPEN?
Also, please note that both arresting officers were Latino. It wasn’t the Big Bad White Man this time.
Here’s video of part of the incident – emphasis “part”. There’s only so much to be gleaned from a clip that’s a few minutes long.
Of course, there’s more to this story. For example:
“It’s fair to say the LVMPD is continuing to investigate whether Mr. Bennett was involved in the altercation at the hotel casino prior to his detention on Las Vegas Boulevard,” Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson Larry Hadfield told USA Today.
Hmmmmm. Maybe that’s why he ran.
The Las Vegas police union is pissed that it’s being nearly universally condemned because Bennett triggered the nation’s hypersensitivity to racial issues. In a strongly-worded letter it sent to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, it asked the league to “conduct an investigation, and take appropriate action, into Michael Bennett’s obvious false allegations against our officers. While the NFL may condone Bennett’s disrespect for our American Flag, and everything it symbolizes, we hope the League will not ignore Bennett’s false accusations against our police officers.”
The NFL says it won’t investigate Bennett because there is “no allegation of a violation of the league’s personal conduct policy,” per Pro Football Talk.
The latter part of the passage from the police union’s letter posted above eludes to some NFL players protesting what they see as racial injustice by refusing to stand for the national anthem. That movement was started last season by Colin Kaepernick. As the masses continue to whine about Kaepernick – a mediocre quarterback – not having a job in the NFL, Bennett is his No. 1 cheerleader.
Listen, we’re sensitive to the fact that there are issues concerning the way some police treat black men that must be addressed. But Bennett is The Boy Who Cried Wolf here and is hurting his own cause. By exaggerating at best and lying at worst about what happened in Las Vegas, he is robbing us of having a real discussion about an important issue.