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NYPD officers rally in support of Colin Kaepernick in Brooklyn

NEW YORK — Dozens of current and former members of the New York Police Department and others rallied Saturday in support of Colin Kaepernick.

The former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers became a controversial figure last year after he refused to stand for the national anthem. He said it was a protest against oppression of black people.

Other professional and college athletes staged similar protests after Kaepernick.

He has been unemployed since March, when he opted out of his contract and became a free agent who could sign with any team. So far, none have signed him.

“We want to speak up because we don’t think Colin Kaepernick took a knee against police officers. He took a knee against injustice,” NYPD Sergeant Edwin Raymond said in a statement. “I became an officer of the law to uphold justice and protect innocent people.”

The gathering in Brooklyn Bridge Park featured mostly minority officers. One exception was retired police officer Frank Serpico. He became famous in the 1970s for alleging NYPD corruption. Al Pacino portrayed him in the film “Serpico.”

“Deciding not to be neutral in situations of injustice takes integrity, and Kaepernick’s actions are the type of speech our Constitution was meant to protect,” Officer Whitely said in a statement.