Officers in Michael Bennett Vegas Incident Won’t Face Disciplinary Charges; Sheriff Says They Acted ‘Professionally’

Running back Thomas Rawls, No. 34 of the Seattle Seahawks, stands with center Justin Britt, No. 68, to join defensive end Michael Bennett, No. 72, on the bench during the national anthem before the game at CenturyLink Field in Seattle on Sept. 17, 2017. (Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images)

Shockingly, the officers who NFL player Michael Bennett said held a gun to his head for no reason (well, besides his being black) will face no disciplinary charges, the Las Vegas sheriff announced Friday.

“I believe they acted appropriately and professionally,” Sheriff Joe Lombardo told reporters about the Aug. 26 incident involving the Seattle Seahawks defensive end, according to the Associated Press.


Lombardo said that the officers did what they were trained to do and stopped Bennett because police had told people to stay down and Bennett ran. The sheriff also said that police reviewed hundreds of videos, and the video he showed on the night of the incident was proof that his officers were in the right.

“Mr. Bennett has a valid perspective as a person who experienced a reasonable-suspicion stop for a felony crime,” said Lombardo, according to AP. “Those who experience such a stop, especially when they have not committed a crime, are not likely to feel good about it.”

However, Bennett’s attorney, John Burris, told USA Today that the videos shown by the sheriff “certainly do not tell the whole story” about officers responding to a false report of a shooting at the Cromwell Las Vegas Hotel & Casino the night of the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor prize fight.


“He thought he was going to get hit by a bullet,” Burris said. “It was perfectly reasonable. Nothing he did could be viewed subjectively as suspicious.”

As reported earlier by The Root, about a week after the incident occurred, Bennett said in a social media post that he feared for his life and was the victim of excessive force by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.


He noted that an officer threatened to “blow my fucking head off” and that he was singled out because he was “a black man at the wrong place at the wrong time.”


“You can see the pain and the fear in Michael,” Burris said of the video. “I think it confirms what we’ve been saying about it. There was a gun. We know that profanity was used.”

USA Today reports that Lombardo said Friday that the officer who detained Bennett told his supervisors that he had “forgotten to turn on his body camera,” which is against department policy.


Bennett’s lawyer said he’s seeking access to all video from that night.

It’s no wonder Bennett sits during the national anthem.

Read more at the Associated Press and USA Today.

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About the author

Angela Helm

Ms. Bronner Helm is a Contributing Editor at The Root. Mouthy Black Girl. Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellow. Shea Butter Feminist. Virgo Sun, Aries Moon.