Colin Kaepernick has successfully made the nation pay more attention to the issue of racial injustice and police misconduct in America.
Since choosing to sit down during the playing of the national anthem less than a month ago, Kaepernick has become the topic of discussion, and center of attention at every press conference and interview.
During a recent pre-game interview, Kaepernick brought attention to one of the more recent deadly police shootings.
Terrence Sterling, 31, of Fort Washington, MD was gunned down on Sunday, September 11, following what authorities are describing as a police chase, that prompted one officer to fire when he allegedly drove his motorcycle into a police cruiser. While speaking with reporters before the 49’ers/ Rams game on Monday, Kaepernick brought the shooting up as a means of highlighting how prevalent the problem has become.
“There was an incident yesterday where Terrence Sterling was murdered, unarmed black man, I mean, once again,” said Kaepernick. “It’s become habitual. It’s an issue and needs to be addressed because it continues to happen, and every time it’s administrative leave, that’s not right. That’s an issue that needs to be addressed, and policies need to be changed to address that.”
One day after the incident, a cell-phone recording obtained by a local television news program showed officers tending to Sterling as he lay with his helmet still on, in the moments that followed. According to their report, Sterling had been spotted riding recklessly in Adams Morgan at around 4:30 a.m. There are conflicting accounts on exactly what happened next, with police saying that they were rammed while he attempted to flee, and witness Kandace Simms disputing that claim. Simms says she was waiting for the light to change at 3rd and M Streets when she watched the pursuit unfold. “The motorcycle was trying to speed off and drive away, but he couldn’t because he was kind of caught in between the sidewalk at the curb and the police car. So the police were trying to open the passenger side door and he couldn’t because the motorcycle was right there, and I guess when he couldn’t open the door, he rolled down his window and shot twice,” she said, giving indication that she was under the impression that the officers were not necessarily under duress when they opened fire.
While the shooting remains under investigation, an outcry over the shooting has begun to travel through the far reaches of social media. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s admission that an officer who had been involved didn’t turn his body camera on until after the shooting occurred has only heightened tensions and underscored Kaepernick’s controversial statement on officer training and law enforcement practices.
“Change is Coming”
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) September 13, 2016