Michael Bennett says he faced ‘real-life threat of being killed’ during encounter with Las Vegas police

Video showed Michael Bennett being handcuffed.
TMZ Sports

Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett has accused the Las Vegas police of using excessive force against him during an encounter on the weekend of the fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor.

In a statement posted to his Twitter account, Bennett said he was traveling to his hotel after the fight when he heard what sounded like gunshots. Bennett said he did what many people did: ran away from the sound and searched for safety. He said, however, that he was then singled out by the police and held at gunpoint:

“A police officer ordered me to get on the ground. As I laid on the ground, complying with his commands to not move, he placed his gun near my head and warned me that if I moved he would ‘blow my f—ing head off.’ Terrified and confused by what was taking place, a second Officer came over and forcefully jammed his knee into my back making it difficult for me to breathe. They then cinched the handcuffs on my wrists so tight that my fingers went numb.”

Bennett went on to describe the fears that went through his mind as he lay on the ground.

“My life flashed before my eyes as I thought of my girls,” Bennett said. “Would I ever play with them again? Or watch them have kids? Or be able to kiss my wife again and tell her I love her?”

TMZ Sports has obtained a video that it says shows the encounter, but it does not show the initial confrontation. The video appears to pick up with Bennett on the ground being handcuffed and explaining why he was running.

Bennett has retained civil-rights attorney John Burris and is exploring his legal options with regard to the incident.

Colin Kaepernick reposted the statement to his Twitter account, saying he stood with “my Brother Michael Bennett.”

Bennett is a longtime supporter of Kaepernick’s protest of police violence and has said he will continue sitting during the national anthem this season.