Colin Kaepernick establishes fund to pay legal fees for George Floyd protesters in Minneapolis

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Colin Kaepernick

FILE – In this Oct. 11, 2018, file photo, former NFL football quarterback Colin Kaepernick smiles on stage during W.E.B. Du Bois Medal ceremonies at Harvard University, in Cambridge, Mass. Colin Kaepernick can add author and publisher to his resume. The former NFL quarterback who knelt during the national anthem to protest racial injustice and police brutality announced Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, he’s writing a memoir through his own publishing company. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

(CBS) — Colin Kaepernick entered the national spotlight in 2016 when he kneeled during the national anthem and raised his fist to protest racial inequality. Now, as people around the nation protest the death of George Floyd, Kaepernick is stepping in to help by establishing a fund to pay the legal fees for protesters in Minneapolis.

The Know Your Rights Campaign announced Kaepernick’s partnership on Friday. A Twitter post from the group said the fund seeks to help support the “Freedom Fighters on the ground” and that their work is “in solidarity w/ our brothers & sisters in Minneapolis.”

The Know Your Rights Camp Legal Defense Initiative is working with top defense lawyers in the Minneapolis, Minnesota, area to help those in need of legal assistance, according to the group’s website.

“When there is an injustice within our community, it is our legal right to address it, by any means necessary,” the website said. Those seeking help “while fighting injustice in the Minneapolis area” can fill out a form on the site.

The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback tweeted about the fund, saying, “In fighting for liberation there’s always retaliation. We must protect our Freedom Fighters.”

The announcement comes as protests rage across the city. On Thursday night, demonstrators burned cars, looted businesses, and set buildings on fire, including the Minneapolis Police 3rd Precinct, home to the four officers arrested in connection to George Floyd’s death.

Officer Derek Chauvin, who kneeled down on Floyd’s neck for several minutes despite Floyd repeatedly saying he couldn’t breathe, was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter on Friday.

Now in the fourth day of nationwide protests, demonstrators in Minneapolis peacefully marched across Hennepin Avenue Bridge, according to CBS Minnesota. What appeared to be thousands of protestors blocked traffic, kneeling down and raising their fists, much like Kaepernick did in 2016.

Kaepernick has tweeted his support for the protests, and has pinned the message to his profile.

“When civility leads to death, revolting is the only logical reaction. The cries for peace will rain down, and when they do, they will land on deaf ears, because your violence has brought this resistance,” he said. “We have the right to fight back!”

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