Sound Stories. Sound Voices.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
You are on the KUOW archive site. Click here to go to our current site.

Seahawks' Michael Bennett says Vegas cops assaulted him

Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett talks to reporters, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, in Renton, Wash. The Seahawks will play the Atlanta Falcons in an NFL football NFC playoff game, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017 in Atlanta (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett

Seattle Seahawk Michael Bennett said he has retained an attorney after Las Vegas police assaulted him.

In an open letter on Twitter Wednesday morning, Bennett said he was ordered to the ground outside a casino and held at gunpoint by police after the Mayweather-McGregor fight on Aug. 26.

Bennett says he was on his way back to his hotel when he heard what he thought were gunshots.

He said that as he and the rest of the crowd ran out, a police officer singled him out and ordered him to the ground and put a gun to his head.

“He was unarmed, he wasn’t fighting,” said John Burris, the Oakland-based attorney retained by Bennett. "He was running like everyone else to get away from what appeared to be shots."

Celebrity website TMZ has released a 30-second video that shows Bennett on the ground being handcuffed, but no gun can be seen.

Burris said he’s waiting to see the police body-cam video from the Las Vegas officers involved.  

“We made a request for the preservation of those cameras,” Burris said.

Burris said Bennett was briefly detained at the scene but was not charged. He added that Bennett doesn’t drink or use drugs.

In a press conference Wednesday afternoon, a Las Vegas police spokesman said an internal investigation is under way.

Undersheriff Kevin McMahill said he saw no evidence that there had been racial profiling.

He said there are more than 120 videos from police cameras to review.

Police released one body-cam video that showed officers racing around the casino, yelling at people to run and get out. McMahill said that at the end of the video Bennett could be seen running out of the casino. He said officers had shouted at Bennett to stop. It's unclear whether Bennett heard them in the bedlam.

Bennett has been outspoken on race and politics. This August he told reporters he plans to sit during the national anthem at games this season to raise awareness about social injustice.

Bennett's tweeted statement is below: