Kaepernick launches fund to pay for lawyers of arrested George Floyd protesters
Former NFL star and activist Colin Kaepernick launched a legal fund on Friday to pay for top defense lawyers to represent those arrested while protesting the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
The fund, called The Know Your Rights Camp Legal Defense Initiative, states on its website: “When there is an injustice within our community, it is our legal right to address it, by any means necessary.”
Numerous people have been arrested as massive protests in Minneapolis and other major cities call for the end of police brutality and highlight injustices against people of color after a video circulated showing Floyd’s arrest.
The video shows a Minneapolis police officer pinning Floyd, 46, to the ground and pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes before he passed out and was later declared dead.
In footage of the Monday arrest, Floyd could be heard saying, “I can’t breathe” as the officer, who has since been fired, continued to hold his knee on his neck.
The officer, Derek Chauvin, was charged with murder and manslaughter on Friday.
Kaepernick earlier this week condemned the video and expressed support for protests, saying, “When civility leads to death, revolting is the only logical reaction.”
The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback began kneeling during the 2016 NFL season to protest police brutality and racial inequality while he was still playing for the team. However, he became the target of criticism from conservatives and President Trump.
He hasn’t played in the league since that season. As part of his activism, he launched his charity, Know Your Rights Camp, to educate young minorities about their rights in encounters with police officers. The charity also raises awareness about police brutality.
The organization’s goal is to “Advance the liberation and well-being of Black and Brown communities through education, self-empowerment, mass-mobilization and the creation of new systems that elevate the next generation of change leaders,” according to its mission statement.
The newly launched website for protesters to receive legal aide includes a form that can be filled out by those seeking legal assistance or by their loved ones. It says team members will be in touch to help connect people to top defense lawyers in the area who have partnered with the group.
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