LAS VEGAS (AP) — Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett accused Las Vegas police on Wednesday of racially motivated excessive force, saying he was threatened at gunpoint and handcuffed following a report of gunshots at an after-hours club at a casino-hotel.
Police said they’re investigating, but that Bennett failed to stop for officers searching a crowded casino for what they believed to be an active shooter just hours after the Aug. 26 boxing match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor.
“I believe this case will become completely clear as all the available video is reviewed for evidentiary purposes,” Clark County Undersheriff Kevin McMahill told reporters. “We’ll see very, very clearly exactly what happened on this incident.”
Bennett said on a Twitter message titled “Dear World,” that police “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.”
McMahill aired a lengthy video clip taken from a police sergeant’s body camera during a search of the Cromwell casino after a report of gunfire at the Drai’s nightclub. But he said at least one officer who encountered Bennett didn’t have his body camera on at the time.
Bennett isn’t seen until the very end of the clip — being handcuffed as he lies prone in a traffic lane on Las Vegas Boulevard.
McMahill said that with an internal affairs investigation just beginning, he saw “no evidence that race played any role in this incident.”
Police and casino officials later attributed the report of gunfire to the sharp sound of velvet rope stands being knocked to a tile floor.
Bennett, during a brief appearance Wednesday at the Seahawks’ practice facility in Renton, Washington, described the incident as “traumatic” but declined to go into specifics about it.
“It’s a traumatic experience for me, my family and it sucks that the country that we live in now sometimes you get profiled for the color of your skin,” Bennett said. “Do I think every police officer is bad? No, I don’t believe that. Do I believe there are some people out there that judge people by the color of their skin? I do believe that.”
“I’m just trying to focus on the game, focus on the task at hand and let everything take care of itself,” Bennett said. “But like I said this is a tragic situation for me, I hate to be up here at this moment. There is a lot of people who experienced what I experienced at that point, at that moment and they’re not here to tell their…