Colin Kaepernick Starts Legal Defense Fund for Minneapolis 'Freedom Fighters'

Protests and riots have taken place following George Floyd's murder in Minneapolis. Several of those involved have been arrested, and now former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick has announced his intentions to provide assistance. He has established a legal defense fund.

Kaepernick posted a photo on his Instagram account showing the ongoing situation in the Twin Cities. He wrote that there is always "retaliation" in fighting for liberation and that the "freedom fighters" must be protected. To this end, he established the Know Your Rights Camp Legal Defense Initiative. Kaepernick originally created the Know Your Rights Camp to "advance the liberation and well-being of Black and Brown communities."

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"In fighting for liberation there's always retaliation. We must protect our Freedom Fighters. We started a legal defense initiative to give legal representation to Freedom Fighters in Minneapolis paid for by [Know Your Rights Camp Legal Defense Initiative]," Kaepernick wrote in the caption of his Instagram post, then directing followers to the site for donation and representation information.

According to the website, the Know Your Rights Camp Legal Defense Initiative teamed up with "top defense lawyers" in the Minneapolis area to provide legal resources. Those in need of legal assistance or that have been arrested during the protests will have access to the lawyers. They just have to fill out a form on Know Your Rights Camp.

Now-fired arresting officer Derek Chauvin and three fellow former police officers were fired from the Minneapolis Police Department following Floyd's death while in custody. Chauvin was later arrested on Friday and was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. The other three former officers have not been arrested.

The initial legal inaction over the incident prompted protests in Minneapolis, which led to some looting. However, the situation escalated when the 3rd Precinct Police Station was set on fire. Several buildings have been engulfed in flames in the time since, and the military has been put on standby.

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According to CNN, there were roughly 20 arrests made in St. Paul on Friday, most of which were for burglary. Minneapolis saw approximately the same number of arrests for curfew violations and destruction of property. Mayor Jacob Frey said during a press conference that the people coming to Minneapolis to protest "are not residents."

"Our Minneapolis residents are scared and rightfully so. We've seen longterm institutional businesses overridden. We've seen community institutions set on fire. And I want to be very, very clear. The people that are doing this are not Minneapolis residents," Frey said during a news briefing on Saturday.