by Patricia Nicolas
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been painted as anti-law enforcement after his national anthem protests against police brutality in the 2016-2017 NFL season. But a group of police officers in New York City gathered this past weekend to show their support of Kaep.
About 80 former and current New York City Police Officers, dressed in black T-shirts with the words “#IMWITHKAP,” gathered at the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday (Aug. 19) as a form of support for Kaepernick.
The event was organized by Sergeant Edward Raymond who is also no stranger to standing up against racial injustice. In 2015, he joined other officers and filed a class-action lawsuit against the Police Department for policing practices that discriminated against minority communities.
“As members of law enforcement, we can confirm that the issues he is saying exist in policing, and throughout the criminal justice system, indeed exist,” Raymond said in an interview with New York Times. “…People use the terms ‘antipolice,’ ‘unpatriotic,’ to scare people from stepping forward. It takes courage to say, ‘I’m going to do it anyway, because it’s what’s right.’”
Among the mostly minority crowd also stood former police officer Frank Serpico. The officer is yet another who has stood up for what is right. In the 1970’s, he exposed corruption within the police department. His efforts were later highlighted and made into a film, Serpico, starring Al Pacino.
I am here to support anyone who has the courage to stand up against injustice and oppression anywhere in this country and the world,” Serpico said, according to AOL.
Kaepernick hasn’t found a new team since leaving the 49ers, despite throwing for 12 touchdowns and only four interceptions last season. Many pundits believe he’s still capable of playing in the NFL, but that teams have blackballed him because of his protests and the media coverage that came with them.
Since he hasn’t found a new team, Kaep has been praised by celebrities, fans and civil rights organizations. The NAACP has called for a boycott of NFL games until Kaepernick makes a roster, and Spike Lee is hosting a rally on Wednesday, Aug. 23 at the New York NFL headquarters in support of Kaepernick.