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Terrified,' 'helpless': Seattle Seahawks' Michael Bennett accuses Las Vegas police of brutality
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Terrified,' 'helpless': Seattle Seahawks' Michael Bennett accuses Las Vegas police of brutality

Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett accused the Las Vegas police of brutality and excessive force in a tweet Wednesday that quickly went viral.

Bennett claimed that Las Vegas officers drew guns on him for "being a black man in the wrong place at the wrong time" during an August incident, and as a result, the football player says he's considering filing a civil rights lawsuit.

Bennett's allegations

Bennett, 31, captioned an open letter addressed to the world with "equality" and began by revealing that he was in Las Vegas to attend the Aug. 26 Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight.

Bennett said that he was heading to his hotel when he and a large group of people heard noses that resembled the sound of gunshots.

According to his letter, he ran away in order to get to safety, but was reportedly accosted by Las Vegas police officers who detained him and aimed their weapons at him "for doing nothing more than simply being a black in the wrong place at the wrong time."

The NFL star said that as he was allegedly ordered to the ground by one of the officers — a command he said he obeyed — the officer reportedly told him that if he moved, he would "blow my f***ing head off."

Bennett said that during the ordeal, he was "terrified and confused," and to add insult to injury, another officer allegedly came over and "forcefully jammed his knee" into Bennett's back while handcuffing him.

"The Officers' excessive use of force was unbearable," Bennett wrote. "I felt helpless as I lay there on the ground handcuffed facing the real-life threat of being killed."

Bennett said that the officers purportedly ignored his continued pleas for constitutional rights, and instead, placed him in the back of a police cruiser "for what felt like an eternity."

He revealed that after it was apparent that the officers realized who Bennett was, he was allowed to go free.

"This fact is unequivocally, without question why before every game I sit during the national anthem," Bennett explained, "because equality doesn't live in this country and no matter how much money you make, what job title you have, or how much you give, when you are seen as a 'n*****,' you will be treated that way."

He concluded, "The system failed me. I can only imagine what Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, and Charleena Lyles felt."

Bennett's lawyer speaks out

Bennett also revealed in his letter that he retained Oakland-based civil rights attorney John Burris to investigate the incident, as well as navigate the explorations of legal proceedings including, but not limited to, filing a civil rights lawsuit.

Burris told The Associated Press that Bennett was not only "unarmed," but was "sober, and not involved in any altercations or dispute at the time the police officers arrested and threatened to use deadly force against him."

"We think there was an unlawful detention and the use of excessive force, with a gun put to his head," Burris added.

"He was just in the crowd. He doesn't drink or do drugs. He wasn't in a fight. He wasn't resisting," the lawyer continued. "He did nothing more or less than anyone in the crowd."

Burris explained that the only reason Bennett waited weeks after the incident to go public with his story was to ensure that he had ample time to seek out police records of Bennett's detainment.

TMZ video

TMZ Sports obtained footage of what appears to be a police officer subduing Bennett.

In the 30-second video, the man who TMZ identifies as Bennett can be heard screaming, "I wasn't doing nothing man! I was here with my friends! They told us to get out, everybody ran!"

TMZ Sports said that when reached for comment, the Las Vegas Metro Police Department only admitted that it was investigating the incident.

Las Vegas Metro Police Department's statement

The Las Vegas Metro Police Department on Twitter issued its own statement on the Bennett accusations.

LVPD wrote, "Reference a statement made by Michael Bennett, this case is under investigation. Reserve judgment. We will address this publicly today."

At the time of this writing, no further updates were available from LVPD.

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