“When you see a person that you love, a person that’s your friend, a person who anybody honestly that’s put in a compromising position the way Michael was — it’s a matter of life or death, potentially all those situations that you see a lot of things are happening in our country right now,” the Seahawks quarterback told reporters Thursday. “It’s heartbreaking when you think about.”
Bennett posted on Twitter he’s considering filing a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Dept. for allegedly using excessive force on him as they investigated an incident at a casino last month. He said police singled him out among a group of people who were fleeing away from what sounded like gunshots in a Las Vegas casino on Aug. 27. He said a police officer ordered him to the ground, pointed a gun at his head and told him not to move or he would “blow my [expletive] head off.” He alleged a second officer forcefully jammed his knee into his back, making it difficult for him to breathe, before handcuffing him and eventually putting him in the back of a police car.
“I saw a snippet of the video so to see him on the ground like that,” Wilson said. “It’s unacceptable based on the situation. Michael is a good guy and he’s a guy who is trying to standup for something good, trying to standup for love and really coming together, not hate.”
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Dept. Undersheriff Kevin McMahil denied officers singled out Bennett because of his race and said Wednesday the department has opened an internal investigation into the matter. Bennett was not arrested or charged in the matter.
Bennett said the incident has strengthened his resolve to be an advocate for people who are oppressed by social injustice. It also has given Bennett more reason to continue to sit during the national anthem before games in an effort aimed at raising awareness to social inequality.
“If you know Michael Bennett — he’s a person who loves all people, a person who wants to make the world a better place and he’s addressing an issue that’s right in the heart of the matter of what we’re going through,” Wilson said. “To see him on the ground like that and to be a person who is standing up for something but also be on the ground like that too is terrifying, it’s devastating to even think about.”