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Colin Kaepernick launches an initiative through his Know Your Rights Camp that will offer free, secondary autopsies to family members of anyone whose death is “police-related.”
The initiative collaborates with a panel of board-certified forensic pathologists who perform autopsies, reveal preliminary results, and issue final reports to requesting families.
“We know that the prison industry complex, which includes police and policing, strives to protect and serve its interests at all costs,” Kaepernick said. “The autopsy initiative is an important step towards ensuring that family members have access to accurate and forensically verifiable information about the cause of death of their loved one in their distress.”
The aim of the initiative is to eliminate concerns about the reliability and objectivity of the initial autopsy performed, the risk of tampering with evidence and potential bias on behalf of the forensic pathologist or physician and / or the use of erroneous forensic procedures.
“I am extremely excited about this completely unique program,” said pathology coordinator Dr. Cyril Wecht. “The possibility of having an independent second autopsy performed by independent, experienced forensic pathologists in police-related deaths will inform the families of the victims that the true facts of such a case have been thoroughly analyzed and prepared for appropriate use when deemed necessary.”
Kaepernick, who led the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl after the 2012 season, last played in the NFL in 2016, the same year he began kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice.
Kaepernick and former teammate Eric Reid filed complaints against the league, saying they were blacklisted due to anthem protests at matches. They reached a settlement in 2019.