Metro: No evidence of racial profiling during Michael Bennett in - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Metro: No evidence of racial profiling during Michael Bennett incident

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Bodycam footage shows Michael Bennett being detained by Metro officers.  (Source: LVMPD) Bodycam footage shows Michael Bennett being detained by Metro officers. (Source: LVMPD)

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Sheriff Joe Lombardo said so far there is no evidence that supports Seattle Seahawks player Michael Bennett’s accusations of racial profiling and excessive force against the department.

For the second time since Bennett said on social media that officers singled him out and pointed their guns at him “for doing nothing more than simply being a black man in the wrong place at the wrong time” the police department addressed the incident publicly. The department held the press conference on Friday to present what they have learned so far about the investigation.

[READ MORE: Seahawks player accuses Metro of using excessive force and racial profiling]

Lombardo said there are often two sides to every story. Adding, he isn’t here to disparage Bennett.

Lombardo said officers must use precaution when they believe there is a violent act. The officers are there to save lives and bring the incident to an end.

During the press conference, Lombardo presented additional video of the incident. He said the department reviewed 861 separate videos related to the call.

Lombardo said officers told people in the casino to get down on the ground as they entered The Cromwell for reports of an active shooter at Drai’s Nightclub. A few people left the casino, including Bennett. However, they said he was acting differently and it caught the attention of officers as well as Cromwell security. Bennett was shown on camera crouching down, moving towards slot machines before running out of the casino and jumping over a rail towards Flamingo Road.

A team of three people from Metro, including two officers and a sergeant followed Bennett. Lombardo said the two officers are Hispanic and the sergeant is a black male.

As Bennett was detained, the footage showed that he told officers “I didn’t even do anything to get detained. I’m just a person running from somebody shooting.” Adding, “I got three daughters, I want to go home and see my kids.”

The officer that detained Bennett had a gun out, but Lombardo said there is no evidence that the gun was pointed at Bennett’s head. Adding, there is no evidence that the officer said he would “blow his (expletive) head off,” as Bennett said.

The officer who detained Bennett did not have his body worn camera on at the time of the incident. Lombardo said there could be consequences for failing to activate the camera.

Lombardo said the department could determine that the officer said, “put your (expletive) hands up” and “put your (expletive) hands together.”

A complaint Bennett made while in custody regarded his handcuffs. Lombardo said an officer loosened the handcuffs on Bennett after he made the complaint.

Once officers determined there was no active shooter, Bennett was released from custody. During his release, Lombardo said officers explained why he was detained and issued an apology. He said Bennett even extended his arm out to the officers. 

Lombardo said two additional patrons were detained in a similar manner as Bennett. He said one person is black and the other is Hispanic.

Lombardo said Bennett has filed a complaint with the department since the first press conference. The department spoke to his legal team and they offered them to look at the video footage.

[RELATED: Michael Bennett's attorney calls for independent review of Metro incident]

Lombardo called the officers who responded to the incident heroic and said he supports the department.

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