Colin Kaepernick Refers to Modern Police as ‘Runaway Slave Patrol’

Colin Kaepernick posted a tweet that is grossly offensive and attacks the integrity of millions of people employed in the criminal justice system.

Kaepernick is an unemployed NFL quarterback. He became widely known last year for taking a knee during the National Anthem. He failed to understand the symbol of his protest is what legally gives him the right to protest. This might explain why so many people have scratched their heads when analyzing his methods.

People argue whether his political statements have hindered his play on the field, since he suddenly became a shell of the player he once was. Nevertheless, his Twitter account posted a message showing a badge with the title, “Runaway Slave Patrol” alongside a newer police shield. At the top of the tweet it reads, “YOU CAN’T IGNORE YOUR HISTORY.”

“A system that perpetually condones the killing of people, without consequences, doesn’t need to be revised,” Kaepernick tweeted, “it needs to be dismantled.”

Colin Kaepernick tweet:

Kaepernick was presumably referring to the the jury verdict that acquitted Officer Jeronimo Yanez Friday, as his Twitter account contains several references to the outcome.

Colin Kaepernick tweet:

But it is not a broken system, let alone one that needs to be dismantled. The system has flaws because it’s administered by imperfect people. Yet it is still the best system of justice available. Other solutions would tend to favor one side over the other, and there would be far more discontent than currently exists.

Twelve people sat on the jury in Minnesota for two weeks, including one black woman and one black man. They were not racist against black people, nor did they presuppose police innocence. To assume so is to completely disrespect everyone involved in the trial; to include the prosecutor, judge, defense counsel, and jurors. There was no anti-black conspiracy at work in this case.

However, that in essence is the insinuation from Colin Kaepernick, and all who protested the verdict. Uninvolved people on the outside looking in, complete with their own predispositions and biases, either applauded or condemned the verdict.

As a retired cop, and editor for a law enforcement publication, I was asked my opinion several times. With each question I could only offer supposition, because I wasn’t in the shoes of Officer Yanez. Consequently, how could I make a judgment call without hearing and seeing all the evidence?

Honestly, my presupposition would give the officer the benefit of the doubt, because I know how difficult the job is having worked in the business for decades. The Kaepernick’s of the world are not honest enough to admit their anti-police bias along with their own presuppositions.

Yet this jury, which spent two weeks reviewing all the evidence instead of watching a video online for two minutes, unanimously agreed that the police officer in this case was not guilty on all charges.

So if you’re upset with anyone in this case, it should be the jury, not the police officer or the “system.” Yanez was charged with multiple crimes and lawfully prosecuted. The state of Minnesota could not prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt to 12 jurors. This happens all the the time in criminal court rooms. Proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt is a very high standard to meet when a defendant has good legal representation. Law enforcement professionals see guilty people walk free all the time.

This was a case that had serious doubt from the beginning. It was emotionally charged and driven by race politics.

In the past, questionable police practices or unfortunate outcomes found their way to civil court. But now, good people that make a living performing difficult tasks as cops are finding themselves in the role of criminal defendants rather than defendants in a civil case, although those will follow too.

And whether you agree with this jury or not, it’s definitely fair to say they were brave since they knew their decision to acquit would be met with vociferous opposition. That is, the mob of people demanding justice in this case were not supporting the police officer so the easiest possible decision by the jury would have been to find Yanez guilty. They would have exited the jury chamber as heroes.

Most criminal lawyers will tell you, convincing 12 people to support a unanimous verdict of innocence when the entire state’s power is arrayed against your client is not an easy task.

So Kaepernick helped fuel the fire of this outrage with his incendiary comparison of modern day police to 19th century slave catchers. His tweet has since been retweeted by nearly 50,000 people at the time this article was written, proving, yet again, that intelligent thought does not triumph over rash and inaccurate distributions of fake news on social media.

The simple truth of the matter is this — no one protects more black lives than the police in this country. If you doubt this, look at the murder rates in cities were BLM protesters have been the most active.

In just about all of these major cities the murder rate has skyrocketed. Why?  Through policies and individual trepidation, police have disengaged from aggressive policing designed to save mostly black lives.

You can hate “white cops” all you want, but it’s the black on black crime that is doing the damage. DOJ and BJS statistics consistently reveal more than 90% of the time it’s black people killing other black people. So the truth is that “LIFE” matters, but not to those who willfully murder others, regardless of race.

Finally, if no NFL team was willing to employ Colin Kaepernick before this tweet, the chances of gaining work in professional football likely disappeared forever. He should be available to “take a knee” every Sunday, but he will no longer do it with a lucrative contract in his back pocket.

– Jim McNeff, editor-in-chief, Law Enforcement Today

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Author
Jim McNeff

Jim McNeff worked in military and civilian law enforcement for 31 years. He retired as a police lieutenant with the Fountain Valley Police Department in Orange County, California. He currently serves as the editor-in-chief with Law Enforcement Today. Jim holds a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice from Southwest University and graduated from the Sherman Block Supervisory Leadership Institute as well as the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) course, Leadership in Police Organizations. He authored "The Spirit behind Badge 145" and "Justice Revealed." He is married and has three adult children and three grandchildren. You can contact him at [email protected] or view his website www.badge145.com.

1 Comment

Since you’re “unemployed”, why don’t you become a Cop and make a difference instead of merely bitching about it?
I don’t think you have what it takes, you’re a typical “snow-flake”.

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