Vegas PD asks NFL to investigate Michael Bennett for 'obvious false allegations'
The police department is firing back at Bennett's claim he was racially profiled
The incident in Las Vegas between police officers and Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett is quickly becoming a hot-button topic. Bennett claimed in a letter on Twitter following an incident at a nightclub after the Mayweather-MacGregor fight several weeks ago. , which has resulted in plenty of screaming by people taking sides in the matter.
Bennett quickly received, but now the LVPD is trying to get the commissioner involved in a different aspect of the situation.
According to Vanessa Murphy of 8 News, a CBS Las Vegas affiliate, the police department is asking Goodell and the NFL to investigate the incident for "obviously false allegations" on Bennett's behalf.
The letter is defensive of the LVPD officers who were responding to a call where shots were fired in a casino. Detective Steve Grammas, who penned the letter, was highly accusatory of Bennett, claiming that he was acting in a way to create "reasonable suspicion" from the officers who responded to the scene.
The full text of the letter:
On behalf of the rank and file members of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, I request that you 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.
As you may know, Michael Bennett posted a Twitter message regarding his interaction with our officers. Bennett wrote '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's message included additional comments, which we believe are false and defamatory.
We believe that a fair investigation will establish that our officers responded to one of the most dangerous calls a law enforcement officers can be assigned -- an active shooter firing rounds in a crowded casino. As our uniformed officers entered the casino, they observed Bennett hiding behind a slot machine. When officers turned towards Bennett, he bolted out of the casino, leaped over four (4) foot barrier wall, and hid from officers as he crouched close to the wall on the sidewalk.
I am sure that your attorney will tell you, our officers had reasonable suspicion, which is the constitutional standard, to detain Bennett until they could determine whether he was involved in the shooting. Our officers, who are both minorities, had the legal right, and obligation, to detain Bennett based upon 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.'
Michael Bennett's claim that our officers are racist is false and offensive to the men and women of law enforcement. We hope you will take appropriate action against Michael Bennett. I am available to meet with you and will provide any other information you deem necessary.
Any incident such as this involving the police is emotionally charged for not just the people involved, but for fans across the county as well.
NFLPA executive director DeMaruice Smith responded to the letter via a statement released later Thursday:
I applaud Roger joining me in issuing a statement of support for Michael Bennett, but there are no grounds for the NFL to investigate our union rep, and I look forward to Roger confirming the same.
An investigation into the situation by the NFL seems unlikely, but the NFL has done plenty of odd things when it comes to investigations before. It wouldn't be totally stunning, even after Goodell endorsing Bennett.
More likely is that the league will let this issue play out in the course of civil court, as Bennett has claimed he plans to hire a lawyer to explore what options he might have.
Given the aggressive nature of the LVPD's response, it is unlikely they plan on simply settling with Bennett should the defensive end decide to file suit.
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