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Colin Kaepernick starts defense fund for people arrested protesting George Floyd death

The effort by the former NFL quarterback is part of his Know Your Rights Camp initiative.
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, center, kneels during the national anthem along with outside linebacker Eli Harold, left, and safety Eric Reid before a 49ers home game against the Cowboys in October 2016.
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, center, kneels during the national anthem along with outside linebacker Eli Harold, left, and safety Eric Reid before a 49ers home game against the Cowboys in October 2016.
Published May 31, 2020

Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick has helped start a fund to provide defense lawyers for those who are arrested in Minneapolis protesting the death of George Floyd.

Kaepernick has created the Know Your Rights Camp Legal Defense Initiative as part of his Know Your Rights Camp organization. The initiative’s page on the Know Your Rights Camp website says it has identified top lawyers “to provide legal resources for those in need.”

The web page provides resources for protesters, including a form to fill out if they need an attorney.

Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in Minneapolis and across the nation over the past several days to express their frustration and anger at the death of Floyd, an unarmed black man who died Monday while being arrested after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes as Floyd repeatedly stated that he couldn’t breathe.

Floyd was being detained on suspicion of trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill.

Chauvin and three other officers were fired the next day, and on Friday, Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death.

Subsequent charges are possible and charges for the other officers involved are anticipated, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman has said.

Kaepernick, who played for the 49ers from 2011-16, gained worldwide attention by sitting on the bench during the national anthem before a 2016 preseason game to protest social inequality and police brutality against African Americans. After discussing the protest with ex-Green Beret and collegiate long-snapper Nate Boyer, Kaepernick then began to kneel on the sideline as the anthem played before games.

Kaepernick parted ways with the 49ers after the 2016 season and hasn’t played in the NFL since. He is a free agent.