Sept. 6 (UPI) -- Two-time Pro Bowl selection and Super Bowl champion Michael Bennett says that cops pointed guns at him and threatened his life Aug. 27 in Las Vegas.
Bennett, 31, attended the Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather fight at T-Mobile Arena. After Mayweather's win, Bennett said he was looking for safety after hearing what he and others thought could be gunshots before being confronted by Las Vegas police.
The 6-foot-4, 271-pound defensive end tweeted about the incident on Wednesday morning.
Bennett has retained Oakland Civil Rights Attorney John Burris to investigate the incident and said he will explore the idea of filing a civil rights lawsuit for a violation of his constitutional rights.
"On Saturday, August 26, 2017 I was in Las Vegas to attend the Mayweather-McGregor fight on my day off," Bennett wrote. "After the fight while heading back to my hotel several hundred people heard what sounded like gun shots. Like many of the people in the area I ran away from the sound, looking for safety. Las Vegas police officers singled me out and pointed their guns at me for doing nothing more than simply being a black man in the wrong place at the wrong time."
"A police officer ordered me to get on the ground," Bennett said. "As I laid on the ground, complying with his commands to not move, he placed his gun near my head and warned me that if I moved he would 'blow my [expletive] head off.' Terrified and confused by what was taking place, a second officer came over and forcefully jammed his knee into my back making it difficult for me to breathe. Then they clinched the handcuffs on my wrists so tight that my fingers went numb."
"The Officers' excessive use of force was unbearable. I felt helpless as I lay there on the ground handcuffed facing the real-life threat of being killed. All I could think of was 'I'm going to die for no other reason than I am black and my skin color is somehow a threat.' My life flashed before my eyes as I thought of my girls. Would I ever play with them again? Or watch them have kids? Or be able to kiss my wife again and tell her I love her?"
"I kept asking the officers 'what did I do?" and reminding them that I had rights they were duty bound to respect. The officers ignored my pleas and instead told me to shut up and then took me to the back of a nearby police car where I sat for what felt like an eternity until they apparently realized I was not a thug, common criminal or ordinary black man but Michael Bennett a famous professional football player. After confirming my identity, I was ultimately released without any legitimate justification for the officers' abusive conduct."
"I have always held a strong conviction that protesting or standing up for justice is just simply, the right thing to do. This fact is unequivocally, without question why before every game, I sit during the national anthem-because equality doesn't live in this country and no matter how much money you make, what job title you have, or how much you give, when you are seen as a [expletive], you will be treated that way."
"The system failed me. I can only imagine what Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, and Charleena Lyles felt."
"I have retained Oakland Civil Rights Attorney John Burris to investigate and explore all my legal options including filing a civil rights lawsuit for the violation of my constitutional rights."
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment or information.
Burris called on officers to release body camera videos of the incident, according to a news release from the law office. The alleged incident took place at the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and East Flamingo Road on Sunday, Aug. 27, according to the release.
ColorofChange.org has created a petition to pressure the police department to release the body camera footage and identify officers.
Bennett's brother, Martellus Bennett, plays tight end for the Green Bay Packers. Michael Bennett is entering his ninth NFL season. He signed a three-year, $31.5 million contract extension in December with the Seahawks.
Bennett has been sitting during the national anthem so far this season.
"First of all, I want to make sure people understand, I love the military," Bennett said in August after sitting during a preseason game national anthem. "My father was in the military. I love hotdogs like any other American, I love football like any other American, but I don't love segregation, I don't love riots, I don't love oppression, I don't love gender slandering. I just want to see people have the equality that they deserve. I want to be able to use this platform to continuously push the message of that...keep journeying out and keep finding out how unselfish can we be as a society."
"How can we continuously love one another and understand that people are different? And just because they're different doesn't mean you shouldn't like them. Just because they don't smell the way you smell, just because they don't eat what you eat, just because they don't pray to the same God you pray to, that doesn't mean you should hate them. Whether it's Muslim, whether it's Buddhist, whether it's Christianity, whatever it is, I just want people to understand that no matter what, we're in this thing together. It's more about being a human being at this point."
Colin Kaepernick, who started kneeling during the anthem last season, responded to Bennett's post on Wednesday.
"This violation that happened against my Brother Michael Bennett is disgusting and unjust. I stand with Michael and I stand with the people," Kaepernick tweeted.
Several other NFL stars retweeted the post.
The Bennett brothers face off at 4:25 p.m. Sunday at Lambeau Field when the Packers host the Seahawks in a Week 1 matchup.