Speaking Truth: Why We Support Kaepernick

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NYPD Sgt. Edwin Raymond Photo: Barry Mason

by Sgt. Edwin Raymond

(Part II of a series, Cops Support Kaepernick)

Members of the NYPD, including retired police officers, gathered in Brooklyn Bridge Park on Saturday, August 19 in support for Colin Kaepernick, former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers.

Organized by Sgt. Edwin Raymond, the rally featured speeches from City Councilman Jumaane Williams, the legendary Frank Serpico and others. They wore black T-shirts reading #IMWITHKAP, with Williams in the red Kaepernick “T” in their message to the world about “Kap”, who has been penalized by the NFL for sitting out the national anthem as a way of protesting police brutality and the oppression of minorities.

The football great told NFL.com in August, “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder”.

At the Brooklyn rally, Sgt. Raymond said the cops who are in support of Kaepernick are also standing for the justice in America they have pledged to protect.

“What Colin Kaepernick did is try to bring awareness to an issue that this nation, unfortunately, has ignored for far too long, and that’s the issue of racism in America and policing in America.

“We decided to gather because the way he’s being railroaded for speaking the obvious truth … is not what America is founded on.

“Someone may argue …   that this country was actually founded on challenging injustice.

“As members of law enforcement, we can confirm that the issues he is saying exist in policing throughout the nation’s criminal justice system indeed exist. That is why we support him. As a nation, we have this habit of vindicating people in hindsight. Ali was vindicated in hindsight. Rosa Parks was vindicated in hindsight.

With Colin Kaepernick, we have an opportunity to respect the work as it is happening in the present. We shouldn’t have to wait 20 years to understand the importance of what this man is trying to do. We shouldn’t even have to be here doing this.

 When you see what’s transpiring in Charlottesville and throughout the nation, that’s the bigger version of what Colin Kaepernick is trying to fight against. When you take that type of bigotry and the residue of bigotry and couple it with policing, every so often everything aligns itself and someone pays with their life. Their lives.

So we’re here to support Colin Kaepernick and to let people know that if you want to say he’s anticop, what do you have to say about all of these cops standing here in support of his message.”

Next week, Councilman Jumaane Williams, 46th District.