Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Star NFL defensive end Michael Bennett, recently turned himself in after prosecutors said they would arrest him on sight, because of evidence they had found that Bennett shoved a 66 year old paraplegic woman and injured her shoulder when trying to get onto the field at Super Bowl 51 to support his brother who was playing for the Patriots.

There is not enough clear evidence on either side for me to have an opinion on whether or not Michael Bennett did in fact commit this crime, as there is no video of the incident and people on both sides have made claims that he definitely did do it (link) or that he was nowhere even near the women (link).

From my own perspective, I do find it very hard to believe that a 6 foot 4, 275 pound NFL defensive end shoved a 66 year old paraplegic woman. Considering Bennett’s reputation as a great person along with his huge charity efforts, he just doesn’t come off that way. And his build definitely doesn’t lend to him doing that to a paraplegic woman.  

But anyone is capable of anything, so that is not my issue with this whole fiasco. My problem is with the way it was handled by the prosecutors. In their statements they spoke as if the incidents were fact and instead of appearing unbiased painted Bennett in an extremely negative light. They included an alleged quote that he may have said, but did not include any of the testimonies that said he was completely innocent.

If you have video-graphic evidence it would be different, but they do not. Michael Bennett could very well be guilty, but he could just as easily be found innocent. Either way these statements influence the court of public opinion very heavily when they should not.

No matter how this case goes down, the court of public opinion holds a lot of power. Even if he is found innocent, for the rest of his life it will change how he his viewed, what comes up when he is googled, and paint him as an alleged criminal. When he may have had nothing to do with the crime, the whole time. In a position of power, the police overstepped their boundary and now Michael Bennett will pay the price.




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