The Michael Bennett Incident

Active Shooter

San Francisco, CA:  No one should speculate or jump to premature conclusions about the incident that occurred involving Michael Bennett and the Las Vegas police in the early morning of August 27 after the Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather fight.

We know there was a call indicating shots were fired and police believed an active shooter situation was in progress. When police arrived, they, witnesses, and news reports all say it was total chaos.

UCOPS encourages dialogue and is committed to educating the public to help it better understand active shooter situations, how people in those situations should act to protect themselves, and how they should react to police encounters during those chaotic, dangerous, and rapidly evolving events.

How do police react when there is total chaos at an incident and a report of an active shooter?

PERF Active Shooter Incident ReportA 2014 report, “The Police Response to Active Shooter Incidents,” by the Police Executive Research Forum, a Washington, DC-based non-profit focused on improving law enforcement, provides insights. As the report said, “active shooter incidents, perhaps more than any other type of crime, impose an extreme stress on responding police officers.

“In many ways, the challenge of active shooter incidents is daunting. These incidents usually are over in a matter of minutes, and it only takes a few minutes for many victims to be killed or wounded. Today’s police departments focus on stopping the shooter as quickly as possible, with fast action by the officers who arrive first, rather than waiting for SWAT teams to arrive. Speeding the response by even a minute or two can result in many lives being saved.”

The event in Las Vegas and others like it should open the door to civil discussion — not knee-jerk reactions or unfounded accusations. Unless we all understand our roles in a situation like this, we will never develop trust and the common understanding needed to improve public safety.

At this time, the events that took place that night are under investigation and no one should draw conclusions until all the information is examined. While claims of racial profiling are being discussed in the news media, there are no indications that any individual was targeted because of the color of their skin.  We do know that the officers involved were minorities and the majority of the nightclub patrons, who the officers were there to protect, were African American.

The United Coalition of Public Safety works on behalf of law enforcement officers and the communities they serve nationwide to shape strong partnerships and break down communication barriers; building trust through active engagement, honest dialogue, education, and outreach.