Rantz: Michael Bennett’s discrimination claim lacks any evidence
By now you’ve heard of Seahawk Michael Bennett’s run in with the Las Vegas police. Bennett claims he was the victim of “nothing more than simply being a black man in the wrong place at the wrong time.” There is absolutely no evidence presented to suggest that’s what happened.
As of now, there’s no evidence of discrimination according to Las Vegas Undersheriff Kevin McMahill. Now perhaps he’s too close to the story to be trusted, particularly if you’re already bias against cops. How about Bennett’s own lawyer? He seems to agree with my premise.
“I don’t know whether race was or not,” claimed his attorney John Burris during a press conference, “because … mainly the people running were black. So I don’t know that race was a total factor in it. Most of the people were black and he was one of the guy’s who was running and is probably bigger than most, so I don’t really know.”
Indeed, video presented by Undersheriff McMahill shows a diverse crowd interacting with cops, some running, others not. At the tail end of the video, you do see what appears to be a gun or stun gun being held by the arresting officer before handcuffs were put on Bennett, but you can’t hear him threaten to “blow off” his head.
The cell phone video capturing the incident seems to show an appropriate arrest, but I’m definitely no expert, and an understandably distraught Bennett is placed in handcuffs (without a gun near his head).
I have no idea if how this went down was above board, or following procedure. McMahill says “due to Bennett’s actions … they believed Bennett may have been involved in the shooting and they gave chase.” But to suggest this was about race is, at the very least, too early given there’s no evidence suggesting so.
Do I think Bennett is lying? Nope. I think he believes this. He has taken an activist role against his perception of police racism and this could very well be a case of confirmation bias. But, the claim is baseless as of now.