LVMPD official: Allegations from NFL star comes as a total surprise

Body camera footage released by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department shows officers entering Drai’s Nightclub on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017, after reports of an active shooter situation. (Photo provided by LVMPD)

An official with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said Wednesday that an NFL star’s claim of excessive use of force, and that he feared for his life at the hands of their officers, came as a total surprise.

Michael Bennett of the Seattle Seahawks was at The Cromwell around 1:30 a.m. Aug. 27 as police responded to the report of an active shooter.

Bennett, and hundreds of other people, was crouched behind a gaming machine after hearing what sounded like gunfire.

“Once Bennett was in the officers' view, he quickly ran out of the south doors, jumped over a wall on Flamingo Road east into Las Vegas Boulevard into traffic,” said Undersheriff Kevin McMahill during a news conference at LVMPD Headquarters.

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The department responded to claims by Bennett that he was unfairly singled out because of his race, and that an officer put a gun to his head — “and warned me if I moved he would blow my (expletive deleted) head off,” according to an open letter Bennett posted on Twitter.

McMahill says the department has opened an investigation into what happened and why, but that Wednesday’s review of video didn’t reveal a violation of LVMPD policy.

“Mr. Bennett had the incident explained to him at the scene by a supervisor and said that he understood,” McMahill said.

Bennett did tell police that an officer pointed a gun at his head but didn’t make a formal complaint.

“He had no problem with what the officers did, just the one that he claimed had pointed a gun at his head,” McMahill said.

Bennett has hired well-known Oakland civil rights attorney John Burris to represent him.

Las Vegas attorney E. Brent Bryson often works with Burris and tells us while he has doubts that serious change will come from a potential suit he does believe this will elevate a conversation about an issue he sees often in Las Vegas.

“What happens frequently is you have a bunch of out of towners they violate their civil rights and think they’re not going to do anything about it," said Bryson. "And frequently they don’t. they’re just happy to get out of here. Or you have locals that are scared to do something about it. Once in a while you’ll have someone step up to the plate and take a swing and say this is not right.”

Bennett has yet to file a suit against the LVMPD. The Department tells us they are investigating the incident.

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