Colin Kaepernick’s charitable arm, the Know Your Rights Camp, is launching an initiative to hire top defense lawyers for people arrested protesting police brutality in the Minneapolis area, the organization’s website says.
The new Know Your Rights Camp Legal Defense Initiative says it has “identified and teamed up with” defense lawyers in the Minneapolis area, calling it “our legal right to address [injustice within our community], by any means necessary.”
The organization’s decision comes amid widespread protests in the city following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died Monday evening, shortly after being violently apprehended by Minneapolis police.
Four Minneapolis police officers were fired on Tuesday after a viral video appeared to show one of them kneeling on the neck of Floyd, 46, who cried that he could not breathe.
On Friday, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was was seen on video kneeling on Floyd’s neck, was arrested on charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter, Minnesota public safety commissioner John Harrington announced. An investigation is ongoing regarding the other officers involved in Floyd’s death.
Kaepernick weighed in on the situation on Thursday, writing on Instagram, “When civility leads to death, revolting is the only logical reaction.
“The cries for peace will rain down, and when they do, they will land on deaf ears because your violence has brought this resistance.
“We have the right to fight back! Rest in power George Floyd.”
Floyd’s death has sparked a wave of reaction from other members of the sports world. Many athletes’ statements have shared an image of the Minneapolis Police Department’s treatment of Floyd next to a photo of Kaepernick kneeling in protest during the 2016 NFL season.
The former 49ers quarterback was protesting racism and police brutality by taking a knee during the national anthem. He last played in the NFL during the 2016 season.
Kaepernick later filed a grievance against the NFL, arguing that he was effectively blackballed from the league because of his views. The league denied the charge and the grievance was eventually settled.