Dozens of New York City police officers raised their fists in solidarity with NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick on Saturday in support of his protest against police brutality, the New York Times reports.
With the new NFL season set to begin within weeks, the former San Francisco 49ers player does not have a team. It’s obvious to many that the league has blackballed him over widespread outrage that he refuses to stand during the national anthem in protest of racial discrimination in the criminal justice system.
Sgt. Edwin Raymond organized the gathering, at Brooklyn Bridge Park, of about 80 current and retired police officers who wore T-shirts with the hashtag “#IMWITHKAP.”
“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,” said Raymond, who is one of 11 officers in a class-action suit that alleges systemic police discrimination in communities of color, The Times reported.
The rally, which was planned weeks ago, came against the backdrop of nationwide peaceful rallies on Saturday against White supremacy in the aftermath of the violence last week in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The New York Daily News reported that Frank Serpico joined the gathering in support of Kaepernick. In the 1970s, the 81-year-old iconic former NYPD officer exposed police corruption in the department.
“I am here to support anyone who has the courage to stand up against injustice and oppression anywhere in this country and the world,” said the former detective, according to The Daily News.