Vegas police fumble the ball

on September 2017 | in Sports | by Dario Passarelli | @PapaDart | with No Comments

What is the world coming too or more appropriately, what is United States coming too? Mind you considering their song for famine relief back in the day “We are the World” those two entities may be one in the same. There have been quite a number of examples recently of ridiculous behavior. Dennis Rodman offering to be a peace negotiator between North Korea and the US for example, not to mention that person sitting in the Oval Office; but let’s leave President Trump alone for the moment.

The most recent incident that I took notice of surrounds NFL player Michael Bennett. The Seattle Seahawks defensive end went to Twitter recently to explain why he will sit down in protest during the national anthem before games. He explains about a personal experience that happened to him while he was in Las Vegas to watch the Floyd Mayweather / Conor McGregor fight. As Bennett describes, there was what sounded like gunshots and he and a number of people tried to flee the area. It was at this point that he was approached by police officers, forcibly held down at gunpoint and handcuffed. It wasn’t until after he was identified as an NFL player that we was then let go.


Police report it differently stating that he was told to stay down and yet he ran away from them and that is when they held him and handcuffed him. It was about 10 minutes later after conducting a proper investigation to verify he was not involved in the incident (there actually was no active shooter) that they released him, all within proper police procedures.

Now it should be known that being a child of Italian immigrants, I have no idea what it feels like to be racially profiled. So I am not here to judge how Bennett behaved during the incident. I also have no idea what it is like to be a police officer and have to respond to a call where there is an “active shooter” present. So I am not here to judge the police at the scene either. Basically, what I am saying is that I am nowhere near qualified to determine how people should respond in these split-second, life threatening situations. There are courts to decide these matters, not journalists.

I do however feel it is important to discuss what happened after the initial incident because I am at a complete loss on how to explain it. Bennett has stated that he has contacted his attorneys and are trying to figure out what is the best legal action for them to take. In the meantime, he is bringing more awareness to what he believes his racial injustice through his protest. You may not agree with his protest or the manner in which he is doing it. That is fine. Again, I am not here to judge, but at least there seems to be some thought put into it.

I can’t however, say the same about the Las Vegas Metro Police Union.

Their response completely baffles me and I ask, I beg, I plead with anyone to please help me make sense of it. In a letter sent to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Detective Steve Grammas responds to the claims set forth by Michael Bennett.

Without even getting into what was said in the letter (and we will) why oh why is this even being addressed to Goodell and the NFL to begin with? It has nothing to do with EITHER of them. If the police feel that Bennett made false accusations then take the proper course of legal action. Don’t go running to his proverbial mommy and daddy and tell them to make him stop.

Secondly, if the true intent of your letter is to get the NFL to do something, it probably is not a good idea to shame them in the opening paragraph. “While the NFL may condone Bennett’s disrespect for the American flag and all it symbolizes…” Really? You think calling them names and trying to disrespect them is going to get them to do what you want? That’s how bullies think.

Then take it a step further and request that the NFL make an “investigation and take appropriate action into the obvious false allegations against our officers… which we believe our false and defamatory.” Now I may be wrong but NFL is still a football league right? It isn’t some new American governing body erected (probably under President Trump) to rule on matters of police brutality or police injustice is it? Shouldn’t the police or internal affairs be conducting an investigation? For once.. wow (hell may have really frozen over) for once I actually agree with a statement released by Roger Goodell.

As I mentioned before and will again, there have been many conflicting reports as to what happened that day and it is too early for me to judge what happened, let alone judge the individuals involved. But I don’t have a problem stating how this letter makes me feel very uncomfortable regarding the mindset of some of those police officers.

Somebody took the time to write this, probably had more than one person look it over and not a single one of them stopped for a moment to say, you know what, maybe this isn’t such a good idea after all. This really scares me because we aren’t talking anymore about a split second decision, this was supposedly a well-planned, thought out response. So someone out there please convince me how this was a good idea because right now, it certainly doesn’t paint a favourable picture of the LVPD.

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