The union representing the Las Vegas Metro police officers wrote a letter Thursday asking the National Football League to investigate Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett in response to claims he made on Wednesday that officers from the department had singled him out and used excessive force against him simply because he was black.
The letter from the Las Vegas Police Protective Association Metro Inc., accuses Bennett of making “false and defamatory” comments against the Las Vegas Metro Police Department.
Written by union president Det. Steve Grammas and addressed to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, the letter begins:
“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 allegations against our officers. While the NFL may condone Bennett’s disrespect for our American flag and everything it symbolizes, and everything it symbolizes, we hope the League will not ignore Bennett’s false accusations against our officers.”
First of all, as previously reported on The Root, most of the Aug. 26 incident was caught on video that actually shows the cops cuffing and detaining Bennett without explanation. He can be heard in the video calling one officer “sir” and asking why he is face down on the pavement being cuffed as another officer holds a gun on him.
Secondly, the flag statement is a reference to Bennett standing in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick and not standing for the National Anthem, something that is not only his constitutional right not to do, but also not a subject up for debate by police who just want to assassinate his character.
The letter goes on to cite Bennett’s Twitter post about the incident, and says that while LVMPD has not yet investigated the incident to determine whether or not the officers were justified in stopping and detaining Bennett, they believe that the two officers had reasonable suspicion to do so.
They then throw in the “both officers were minorities” card, because of course minority cops can’t be assholes to other minorities. It’s totally against the rules of being a minority or something.
The letter asserts, “Our officers did not detain Bennett because he was, ‘a black man in the wrong place at the wrong time.’”
“Michael Bennett’s claim that our officers are racists is false and offensive to the men and women of law enforcement. We hope you will take appropriate action against Michael Bennett. I am available to meet with you and will provide any other information you deem necessary.”
Well, OK then.
In response to an inquiry from a reporter with CBS in Las Vegas, the NFL said it found no such investigation necessary.
In an email to 8 News Now reporter Vanessa Murphy, NFL Vice President of Communications said, “There is no allegation of a violation of the league’s persona conduct policy and therefore there is no basis for an NFL investigation.”
It will be interesting to see what comes of the LVMPD internal investigation.
As Bennett was not arrested or charged for any crime, we can safely assume he has not committed any crime. Why then does this letter attempt to paint him as a criminal and a villain in this scenario?
Furthermore, circling back to the standing for the flag issue, doesn’t the flag stand for the freedom we all have to choose whether or not we want to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance or National Anthem? Why is that mentioned in the letter as some sort of subversive attack on Bennett’s character?
There is an ugly thing I’ve noticed happening more and more, and that is the use of certain words as weapons that tar and feather Americans for doing the very thing it is their right to do: making a choice.
There is no law that says you have to stand for the National Anthem or Pledge of Allegiance. It is a social norm. People who don’t treat the flag like it is a sacred covenant between Americans and the creator of the heavens and the earth are said to be unpatriotic or un-American.
You make a choice to do that, and you get the head of a police union sending out a dog whistle to a certain political and ideological base about you.
And again, the police have not even conducted their own internal investigation to see if the police acted correctly. They have not even determined that, but they are already blaming the victim. Typical.
Even in their initial statement on the issue, while the NFL said they would stand behind and support Bennett, they also made a pandering statement about fostering mutual respect between the police and American citizens.
In the end, Bennett did what any normal person would do. He, like many, thought he heard gunshots, and black people don’t stand around for that shit to try and ascertain what is going on. We get the fuck on, and we hide or duck or whatever we have to do to get away from the gunfire.
The police tackled a man for a normal response to gunfire.
But he’s the one with the problem for calling it out.
source: the root