Police brutalizing Black people is endemic in the United States. This disturbing practice continued last Saturday when the Las Vegas police terrorized 6'4 ft, 274 lbs NFL star and father of three young girls, Michael Bennett, who plays for the Seahawks. Using excessive force, the officers threatened Bennett repeatedly despite his compliance with their demands.
This latest incident stands as a testament to the data that shows police violence targeting Black people is happening all to often in the United States.
No mother or father should ever have to fear that they or a loved one will be harmed at the hands of those sworn to protect.
In a public letter describing the incident, Bennett recalled feeling like his life was flashing before his eyes, and immediately thinking about his daughters.
“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?” 
Here's what happened. Michael was leaving the Mayweather-McGregor fight and walking back to his hotel when he and hundreds of other people heard what sounded like shots fired. Even though officers later determined that no shooting occurred, large groups of people were running and seeking cover.  Bennett ran for cover too, then continued walking once he believed he was safe. Unexpectedly, Michael was then singled out and ordered to lay on the ground by an officer who then held a gun to his head yelling, "Don't move or I will blow your [expletive] head off!" Officers then tossed Michael into a squad car, only to later release him once he was identified as a famous NFL star. Immediately fearing retaliation for their use of excessive force, the officers lied and told Michael they assaulted him for his own protection.
At MomsRising we work tirelessly to connect victims of excessive force and the families of victims of police murder to policy advocates and legislators. Yet, often our efforts and those of many other advocacy groups to hold police accountable are prevented by a lack of transparency at the local and state level. For Michael’s case, transparency is the first step in the fight for justice.
Our justice system has failed countless victims of police excessive force and police murder: Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Charleena Lyles, Laquan McDonald. Getting the Las Vegas Police Department to release the footage and names is the first step in getting justice for Michael Bennett and others.
After you sign on, please share the link with friends and family!
- Patrisse, Beatriz, Monifa, Kristin, and the whole MomsRising.org team