Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick announced the start of a new initiative to offer free second autopsies to family members of anyone whose death is “police-related.”
The Autopsy Initiative, offered through Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp organization, will provide free, secondary autopsies conducted by board-certified pathologists who will disclose the preliminary findings and issue the final autopsy reports to families.
The autopsy can be requested by anyone with a close relationship with the victim — such as a spouse, partner, relative, close friend or lawyer. The autopsy must be authorized by a legal representative, according to the organization.
The initiative will eliminate any concerns from the originally given autopsy, ensuring that it was conducted without any biases or errors and that any evidence wasn’t manipulated — giving the victim’s family a clear picture of what happened.
“We know that the prison industrial complex, which includes police and policing, strives to protect and serve its interests at all costs,” Kaepernick told The Associated Press.
“The Autopsy Initiative is one important step toward ensuring that family members have access to accurate and forensically verifiable information about the cause of death of their loved one in their time of need,” he added.
The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback has been the most vocal protester within the NFL when it comes to police brutality and racial inequality in the U.S.
Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem before games six years ago, as the peaceful protest was intended to raise awareness of police brutality against minorities. But as Kaepernick’s protests gained popularity, it caught the attention of many conservatives, including former President Donald Trump. No NFL team has since signed him to a contract.
Kaepernick and former teammate Eric Reid filed collusion grievances against the NFL, arguing they were blacklisted due to protests during the national anthem at games, according to AP.
Both parties reached a settlement in 2019.
In 2020, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league was wrong “for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest.”