The union for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department on Thursday sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell asking him to investigate and take “appropriate action” against Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett.
On Wednesday, Bennett released a statement saying a Las Vegas police officer pointed a gun at him and detained him “for doing nothing more than simply being a black man in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
In a letter obtained by Vanessa Murphy of the Las Vegas CBS affiliate, detective Steve Grammas, the president of the union, called on Goodell to investigate Bennett for “obvious false accusations against our police officers.” The letter also cited Bennett’s in-game “disrespect” of the national anthem as something the NFL “condones.”
The letter said:
“On behalf of the rank and file members of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, I request that you conduct an investigation, and take appropriate action, into Michael Bennett’s obvious false accusations our police officers. While the NFL may condone Bennett’s disrespect for our American flag, and everything it symbolises, we hope the League will not ignore Bennett’s false accusations against our police officers.”
Grammas also called Bennett’s claims “offensive” to the people in law enforcement and asked Goodell to take “appropriate action.”
“Michael Bennett’s claim that our officers are racists is false and offensive to the men and women of law enforcement,” Grammas wrote. “We hope you will take appropriate action against Michael Bennett.”
Earlier in the day, the commissioner issued a statement supporting Bennett.
“Michael Bennett represents the best of the NFL — a leader on his team and in his community. Our foremost concern is the welfare of Michael and his family. While we understand the Las Vegas police department will address this later this evening, the issues Michael has been raising deserve serious attention from all of our leaders in every community. We will support Michael and all NFL players in promoting mutual respect between law enforcement and the communities they loyally serve and fair and equal treatment under the law.”
The union’s letter went on to argue that the officers — who the letter said “are both minorities” — were within their constitutional rights to detain Bennett.
The letter also outlined the officers’ version of events.
“Our officers responded to one of the most dangerous calls a law enforcement officer can be assigned — an active shooter firing rounds in a crowded casino,” Grammas wrote. “As out uniformed officers entered the casino, they observed Bennett hiding behind a slot machine. When officers turned towards Bennett, he bolted out of the casino, leaped over four (4) foot barrier wall, and hid from officers as he crouched close to the wall on the footpath.”
You can see the entire letter here:
#BREAKING: letter from union for @LVMPD officers to @nflcommish requesting investigation into Michael Bennett @mosesbread72 @LVPPA @8NewsNow pic.twitter.com/B7tdqgag7K
— Vanessa_Murphy (@Vanessa_Murphy) September 7, 2017
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