Posted May 7th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Football

We now have another account of this weekend’s events on Lake Travis from a friend of [tag]Cedric Benson[/tag]. Elizabeth Cartwright, a senior English major at Texas, corroborates Benson’s version of the events and also questions why he was pepper sprayed.

Notes on Cartwright’s interview from the Chicago Tribune below:

Cartwright, an English major at the University of Texas who is to graduate later this month, estimated she and her fiance had been boating with Benson six times this spring and each time a Lower Colorado River Authority boat pulled them over for a safety check.

There were about 15 people on the boat, including Benson’s mother, Jackie, who had spent much of the evening swimming in a part of the lake known as Devil’s Cove. Just when the group had decided to head back to shore around 9:30 p.m. and go out to dinner, a patrol boat stopped to conduct a random check.

According to Cartwright, she had consumed one beer and Benson had two drinks.

“I know Cedric and I don’t think he was drunk,” Cartwright said.

The arrival of LCRA police perturbed Benson because of the frequency of the checks on his 30-foot boat, Cartwright said.

When Benson’s boat passed the safety inspection, Cartwright said she and her fiance were surprised the officer then required a sobriety test for Benson.

“We were all like, ‘Why?’ ” she said.

After an officer led Benson to the LCRA boat for the test, the second officer left behind on Benson’s boat assured a nervous Jackie Benson that her son would be fine, Cartwright recalled.

A few minutes later, Cartwright said she heard Benson begin to scream after the officer pepper-sprayed him in the eye. By the time Benson was in handcuffs, he was screaming, “Please stop, Mom, make them please stop.”

Cartwright disputed that Benson was resisting arrest.

Panicked, Cartwright called her father, Jeff, to give him a description of the physical way she saw her friend being treated and told him to call 911.

Unaware the friend in question was Benson, Jeff Cartwright called 911 and told the dispatcher that police “were beating up a black kid on Lake Travis.”

The biggest thing that stands out from her statement is that she had been out on the lake with Benson six times this year and every single time they have been stopped for “random safety inspections.” Doesn’t seem so random anymore does it? If that is true, there’s something clearly wrong here.


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