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Yesterday morning the sports media united in praise and sympathy for Seattle Seahawk defensive end Michael Bennett when he tweeted out a story which claimed police had singled him out, pointed their guns at him, threatened to blow his brains out, and detained him in the back of a police car for “doing nothing more than simply being a black man in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
— Michael Bennett (@mosesbread72) September 6, 2017
That message he posted on Twitter has since been favorited or retweeted 582,000 times.
When I read Bennett’s story yesterday morning, the facts didn’t make sense to me. Bennett alleged that police had responded to reports of shots fired at a Las Vegas casino and while they were responding to reports of an active shooter he alleged they decided to racially profile Bennett and detain and handcuff him because he was a black man.
Michael Bennett is lying and sports media is covering for him. https://t.co/sbQopHC4oF
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) September 7, 2017
Leaving aside the allegations of blatant police racism put forth here, it just didn’t make logical sense to me. Why would police decide to handcuff an innocent black man while they were investigating a potential live shooter? Surely, I thought, there had to be something more to this story.
But evidently I was the only person to think this because the sports media spent the rest of the day lionizing Bennett for his bravery in the face of racist police officers. MSESPN, FS1, CBS, NBC, just about every radio station in the country, no one actually suggested, “Maybe we should wait to see what the police have to say about this.”
If you said anything other than Michael Bennett is a hero you were a racist.
If you doubt this go read my mentions. Woe unto you if you have the audacity to suggest there might be two sides to a story or that it was possible the Las Vegas police might not be racists.
Twitter demanded a hero be crowned, and that hero was Michael Bennett.
Even the NFL sent out a statement praising Bennett and castigating the police for their treatment of him.
Then the story started to shift.
TMZ released a video of the Michael Bennett handcuffing and it looked downright normal.
There were no screaming threats from the officers to “blow his fucking head off” or, at least in this video, a gun placed anywhere near his head. If Bennett, as he alleged, was threatened that his head was going to be blown off, you certainly can’t hear it. And if the officer handcuffing him held a gun to his head, you certainly can’t see that in this video either. Indeed, given the fact that we can hear almost the entirety of the arrest interaction, it seems pretty damn unlikely that there were any threats uttered at all.
Later that day the Las Vegas police department held a press conference and released a five minute video from inside the casino that night. The video, which you can watch below after the media briefing, showed how chaotic the casino had been that night. It also revealed that officers entered the casino with weapons drawn and sought to protect the largely black audience exiting the casino.
It always bears repeating, but our police officers run towards violence while everyone else runs away from it. As you watch the men and women of the Las Vegas police department courageously walking through the casino looking for a shooter or shooters, it’s hard not to admire their bravery.
Most importantly for purposes of Bennett’s allegation, you can also see that the entire casino is full of black people. If police wanted to arrest black people, there were literally hundreds of them exiting the casino and receiving no molestation at all. Why was Bennett, a black man, among hundreds of black people singled out because of his race?
Indeed, once you watch this video Bennett’s allegation that he was picked out because he’s black is downright laughable. In fact, it’s so laughable that Bennett’s own attorney has acknowledged race had absolutely nothing to do with his treatment from the police.
— Matt Markovich (@mattmarkovich) September 6, 2017
Near the end of the video you can see Michael Bennett, crouching behind a slot machine inside the casino, appearing to hide from police. When the police approached him because he appeared suspicious hiding there, he jumped up and ran away from them, refusing commands to stop, leaping a wall, and attempting to escape from them before being caught and detained.
As police said in their letter they released today demanding the NFL investigate Michael Bennett for telling lies, “As our uniformed officers entered the casino, they observed Bennett hiding behind a slot machine. When officers turned toward Bennett, he bolted out of the casino, leaped over a four foot barrier wall, and hid from officers as he crouched close to the wall on the sidewalk.”
The letter continues, “I am sure that your attorney will tell you, our officers had reasonable suspicion, which is the constitutional standard, to detain Bennett until they could determine whether he was involved in the shooting. Our officers, who are both minorities, had the legal right and obligation, to detain Bennett based upon the nature of the call and Bennett’s unusual and suspicious actions. 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 racist is false and offensive to the men and women of law enforcement. We hope you will take appropriate action against Michael Bennett.”
You can read that full letter here.
— Vanessa_Murphy (@Vanessa_Murphy) September 7, 2017
The police said there are over 120 videos to review of this incident and they will provide a full detailing of all of these videos when they have had the time to review them all.
With all of this evidence now out there, you’d think the sports media might be shifting their tune. But, amazingly, they are not. In fact, most of you will be seeing all of this evidence for the first time on Outkick. What I’d like to ask you all is this — why is Outkick one of the only, if not the only, sports media outlet pointing out that Michael Bennett definitely told at least two lies?
1. That he was detained because he was black.
That’s clearly not the case. He was detained because he was hiding from police, when they approached him he ran and he refused their orders to stop.
Even Bennett’s own attorney has acknowledged that race had nothing to do with his detention.
Furthermore, the allegation that the police officers were racist is undercut by the fact that the two officers arresting him were minorities. Now, contrary to mainstream media coverage, minorities can be racist, but it certainly doesn’t help Bennett’s case at all.
2. Police didn’t explain why they detained him.
Police say they detained him for ten minutes and then released him upon determining he was not a threat. This is standard operating procedure and Bennett was told exactly this at the time.
Moreover, Michael Bennett has likely told at least two more lies:
1. That a police officer threatened to blow his fucking brains out.
Again, review the TMZ video, you can hear what appears to be the entirety of their interaction during the detention and this threat isn’t made.
2. That a police officer held a gun to his head.
In the video from the police department it appears to be a taser that the police officer is brandishing. It would not, however, be a surprise if there was a gun out because the officers in the video all had their guns out as they entered the casino on the call that an active shooter was present.
But, again, it appears to be a taser, not a gun that the detained officer was using.
It’s altogether probable that the only true statement in Michael Bennett’s entire letter is that he was detained by police. Yet despite all of this evidence that I have just marshaled here, why is Outkick the only place in sports media writing this story?
I’ll tell you — because the left wing sports media wants Michael Bennett’s story to be true so desperately that they don’t care what the evidence actually shows.
This is scary because it’s further evidence of what I see happening more and more, people aren’t interested in the individual facts of cases or the truth, they just want their world view to be confirmed. The evidence here is clear — Michael Bennett lied about what happened to him in Las Vegas. That’s bad enough, what’s even worse is this — the sports media has been complicit in allowing his lies to spread and has not held him accountable for his dishonesty.
Rather than wait for two sides of a story to come out and analyze which side was likely to have the weight of evidence and truth behind it, the sports media leapt to conclusions and, yet again, was proven to be completely wrong.
The saddest part of this story, however, remains Michael Bennett, who claims he is protesting the national anthem because of police treatment of minorities. By lying about his own treatment by police, Bennett further poisons the relationship between police and minorities and makes it even less likely that actual mistreatment of police by minorities will be believed.
When you get caught in a lie, as Bennett most definitely has, it just makes those people who are actually telling the truth less likely to be believed too.
Michael Bennett has done a tremendous disservice to the people he claims to care about, and the police of Las Vegas who have done nothing wrong. He should be ashamed and so should the sports media who trumpeted his lies and have gone totally silent when those same lies have been exposed.
I never thought Outkick was going to turn into the most trusted source in sports news, but, somehow, this is where we keep ending up over and over again. It’s amazing how that happens when your only agenda is facts and truth.