The Las Vegas police union sent a letter calling for an NFL investigation into Seattle Seahawks player Michael Bennett’s claim that he was harassed by police on Thursday, slamming the player’s accusation as “false and offensive.”
The letter, obtained by Las Vegas CBS-affiliate 8 New Now, is addressed to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and calls on the league to “take appropriate action against” Bennett for what it says are false accusations of excessive force.
The Union also took aim at the NFL itself for condoning what it calls “Bennett’s disrespect for our American Flag, and everything it symbolizes,” a reference to Bennett’s history of sitting during the National Anthem as a form of nonviolent protest against police violence.
“We hope the League will not ignore Bennett’s false accusations against our police officers,” the letter adds.
Bennett, who was in Las Vegas for the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight last month, said in a statement on Twitter that he was racially profiled and harassed by officers who threatened to “blow my f—g head off.”
When gunshots were heard after the fight, Bennett said officers singled him out and “pointed their guns at me for doing nothing more than simply being a black man in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Las Vegas Police Protective Association President Steve Grammas disputes Bennett’s account in the letter to Goodell, calling it “defamatory.”
“I am sure that your attorney will tell you, our officers had reasonable suspicion, which is the constitutional standard, to detain Bennet until they could determine whether he was involved in the shooting,” Grammas wrote. “Our officers, who are both minoritis, had the legal right, and obligation, to detain Bennett based upon the nature of the call and Bennett’s unusual and suspicious actions.”