Colin Kaepernick contributing to legal defense for protesters facing charges

Colin Kaepernick

FILE – In this Oct. 11, 2018, file photo, former NFL football quarterback Colin Kaepernick smiles on stage during W.E.B. Du Bois Medal ceremonies at Harvard University, in Cambridge, Mass. Kaepernick plans to audition for NFL teams on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in a private workout arranged by the league to be held in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Former NFL star and civil rights activist Colin Kaepernick is helping to fund the cost of legal representation for some protesters who were arrested during demonstrations in the days after George Floyd’s death.

The Star Tribune reported Friday that Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Foundation has donated what’s described as a “substantial” sum to attorneys nationwide.

Kaepernick is the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who took a knee in 2016 during the national anthem to protest police brutality. He started his Know Your Rights Camp Legal Defense Initiative amid widespread protests following Floyd’s death.

A message on the fund’s website says: “When there is an injustice within our community, it is our legal right to address it, by any means necessary.”

The fund won’t say how much money has been raised. Ben Meiselas, a Los Angeles civil rights lawyer and general counsel for the initiative, called the effort “a significant undertaking with some of the top legal professionals.”

Floyd, a black man who was handcuffed, died May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee into Floyd’s neck, ignoring his cries that he couldn’t breathe. That officer has been charged with multiple counts, including second-degree murder. Three other officers also face charges.

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