49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick made national headlines when he refused to stand for the national anthem during a football game on Saturday. Afterwards he explained to reporters that "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," and criticized how recent police-related shootings have been handled around the country.
The San Francisco Police Officers Association responded on Monday with a strongly-worded letter to the NFL, condemning his statements.
Today, a collection of activists have been supporting Kaepernick's position, by holding a rally for him in front of the headquarters of the SFPOA next to the Hall of Justice at 6th and Bryant.
While Kaepernick wasn't in attendance, the activists from a range of local groups focused squarely on the SFPD's own recent controversies. From its Facebook page:
Speakers included Elaine Brown, Phelicia Jones, Minister Christopher Muhammed and Maria Cristina Gutierrez of the Frisco Five.
Unbelievably, the Police Officers' Association (POA) of San Francisco, has sent a letter completely denying that SFPD has any racist violence problem -- in spite of the record-breaking murder tally by SFPD in 2015, ending with the senseless shooting death of Mario Woods. Despite two more killings of people of color since then (Luis Gongora Pat and Jessica Nelson Williams), despite the DA and Public Defender acknowledging the problem, despite Chief Suhr recently stepping down in shame due to community outrage, despite the DA convening a panel to investigate - which has released 81 damning findings and recommendations, despite hundreds of protesters and worldwide press on violence by police against citizens in San Francisco. And despite the fact that San Francisco in 2015 made the top 10 worst list of ALL largest U.S. cities for per capita killings of citizens by police.