Colin Kaepernick Demands 'White Supremacist' Police Be Abolished After Breonna Taylor Verdict

Colin Kaepernick has called for the police to be abolished after a grand jury opted to bring no criminal charges against the police officers who shot dead Breonna Taylor while serving a "no-knock warrant" back in March.

Officers from the Louisville Metro Police Department raided Taylor's apartment during a narcotics investigation and shot dead the 26-year-old Black woman. It subsequently emerged the warrant used was connected to a suspect who did not live on the premises and no drugs were found in the apartment.

On Wednesday, Jefferson County grand jury delivered its long-awaited verdict on the case and charged fired LMPD officer Brett Hankison with three counts of wanton endangerment for firing shots that went into another home with people inside.

Prosecutors ruled that the two officers who fired shots were justified in using force to protect themselves and neither Hankison nor Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and officer Myles Cosgrove, who also took part in the raid, were directly indicted on charges directly related to Taylor's death.

The verdict sparked demonstrations in Louisville, where two police officers were shot and sustained non-life-threatening injuries, and in a number of other cities, including Washington, D.C., New York City, Los Angeles, Kansas City and Dallas.

One of the leading figures of protests against police brutality and systematic racism, Kaepernick was typically outspoken after the verdict was delivered.

"The white supremacist institution of policing that stole Breonna Taylor's life from us must be abolished for the safety and well being of our people," the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback tweeted.

The white supremacist institution of policing that stole Breonna Taylor’s life from us must be abolished for the safety and well being of our people. #BreonnaTaylor #SayHerName #AbolishThePolice

— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 23, 2020

Kaepernick's suggestion reached far beyond the calls to defund the police that monopolized the social and political conversations after George Floyd died while in custody of the Minneapolis Police Department on May 25.

A few weeks after Floyd's death, nine out of 13 councilors in Minneapolis voted in favor of dismantling the Minneapolis Police Department to end the city's "toxic relationship" with the police and to "re-create systems of public safety that actually keep us safe."

Meanwhile, the chair of Seattle's Council's Select Budget Committee, called for Seattle Police Department to be dismantled and have its $400 million annual budget slashed in half.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and his Los Angeles counterpart Eric Garcetti, both announced the cities will divert funding away from their police forces.

Last month, Boston Celtics' Jaylen Brown called for police brutality to be classified as "domestic terrorism" and warned young black people were growing up scared of police forces due to decades of racial profiling.

Kaepernick has been a prominent figure of the Black Lives Matter movement, since he first protested against police brutality and racial discrimination by kneeling during the national anthem ahead of NFL games in 2016.

His decision to kneel transformed him into a global icon, but split public opinion in the U.S. and contributed to him being ostracized by the league.

The former Nevada alumnus has not played football since becoming a free agent at the end of the 2016 season and last year reached a settlement with the NFL, after filing a lawsuit accusing the 32 franchise owners to collude to keep him out of football.

In December last year, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league had "moved on" from Kaepernick, after the former 49er moved a workout the NFL had organized a month earlier.

In June, Goodell adopted a far more conciliatory tone, encouraging teams to sign the 32-year-old.

Following Wednesday's verdict, several NFL players spoke out demanding justice for Taylor.

"Breonna Taylor's killers getting off scot free without even a trial is exactly the systemic rot that people are protesting for," Los Angeles Chargers running back Justin Jackson tweeted.

"All those protests, all the outcry for justice, and can't even get a trial. Angry doesn't even come close to how I'm feeling."

Meanwhile, Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins said the verdict was a stark reminder of how far America still had to go to solve the issues of police brutality and racism.

Colin Kaepernick, NFL
Colin Kaepernick looks on during his NFL workout held at Charles R Drew high school on November 16, 2019 in Riverdale, Georgia. The former 49ers quarterback has called for police to be abolished. Carmen Mandato/Getty

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