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Midnight Mania! NFL player Michael Bennett handcuffed at gunpoint by police the night of Mayweather-McGregor

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Bringing you the weird and wild from the world of MMA each and every weeknight

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

“Try not to get too lost in the weeds on this” were my editor’s words when he sent me this story.

It’s not, strictly speaking, mixed martial arts. I guess it could be considered weird. It is definitely wild. Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett was in Las Vegas the night of McGregor-Mayweather when what he thought were gun shots rang out. He, along with a host of other people, ran away from the sound of gunshots in Vegas. From his account, police officers singled him out, pointed guns at him, put him in handcuffs on the ground, threatened to blow his fucking head off if he moved, ignored his questions, put him in the back of a police car, then ultimately released him without explanation.

What makes it worse is that the police have no explanation for why they singled him out that night. Deadspin.com reported the details of a press conference held by the Las Vegas police department, which boiled down to one answer from Undersherriff Kevin McMahill.

“I really can’t answer that as yet,” McMahill said, noting that the officers involved will submit to questioning from internal affairs detectives. “That’s exactly what we’d like to hear from Mr. Bennett as well.”

And of course, of all the videos taken of the incident, the bodycam worn by the officer who put Bennett in cuffs won’t be available, because, of course, it wasn’t turned on. The Deadspin article did include a video of another officer wearing a bodycam that was turned on, but that was inconclusive, and only served to demonstrate the confusion at that event. I’m not sure why officers bother to wear bodycams if they can turn them on or off at will, although that ability backfired when an officer attempted to plant drugs on a suspect in a recent Baltimore case.

McMahill said there were 126 videos of what happened that police would be gathering, but they will not include the body camera worn by the officer who detained Bennett. McMahill said that officer didn’t have his body camera turned on, and he did not know why. He added that video showing the initial interaction between Bennett and the officer also hadn’t been found yet, either.

In this case, the police picked the wrong black man to target. Bennett is not only famous, but already an activist. He is one of the athletes who followed Colin Kaepernick’s lead in infuriating American football fans by sitting during the national anthem to protest racial injustice. In Bennett’s case, that decision came after the Charlottesville riot, where a neo-Nazi murdered a woman by driving his car into a crowd of leftist counter-protesters.

Like all protests of the kind seen as disrespecting a sacred American tradition, Bennett has earned a lot of hate for that stance. This incident, however, serves to illustrate what his protest is about: police singling out black people for frightening, humiliating, and in some cases life-threatening harassment.

The real kicker? Those weren’t even gunshots. They were large statues falling over after a brawl.


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Stay woke, Maniacs! Follow me on Twitter @Vorpality