Seahawks star discusses fear, trauma of Las Vegas police encounter caught on video

LAS VEGAS -- Seattle Seahawks player Michael Bennett is accusing Las Vegas police of racially motivated excessive force after he says he was threatened at gunpoint following a report that shots were heard at a casino hotel.

Bennett posted a Twitter account early Wednesday saying police singled him out as he was running from a sharp sound following the Aug. 26 fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor.

VIDEO: Michael Bennett arrest in Vegas caught on camera

Police Officer Jacinto Rivera says Las Vegas police are checking for video and written reports but can't immediately verify Bennett's account.

The 6-foot-4 defensive end says he was handcuffed face-down on the ground after one officer held a gun to his head saying he would blow his head off if he moved. Bennett, who has been a leader of the national anthem protests started by former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, was released without charges.

Kaepernick voiced his support for Bennett in a brief Twitter statement:

Police later attributed the report of gunfire to the sound of velvet rope stands falling over.

Bennett spoke briefly Wednesday at the Seahawks' practice facility and said being detained by Las Vegas police was a "traumatic" experience. He declined to go into specifics of what happened during the encounter.

"It's a tough situation for me. Do I think every police officer is bad? No. I don't believe that," Bennett said. "Do I believe there are some people out there who judge people based on the color of their skin? I do believe that."

Bennett hired Oakland-based attorney John Burris and is considering filing a federal civil rights lawsuit.

"I hope he thinks this becomes a lesson for other young people if this happens to them, that they do have rights," Burris told ABC7 News. "And the hope that other police officers will not be so quick to snatch someone off the street and threaten them."

Bennett said he had constant thoughts of his wife and kids while being detained. He eventually stopped speaking and walked away from the podium when asked about his family.

"It sucks that the country that we live in now sometimes you get profiled for the color of your skin," Bennett said.

Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll said he's glad Bennett is safe. His supporters hope this incident, as unfortunate as it was, brings awareness and change.

"What happened to Michael is a classic illustration of the reality of inequalities demonstrated daily,"

The Associated Press has contributed to this report.
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