Police chief apologizes after officer allegedly dresses up as Colin Kaepernick

(The University of Nevada, Reno)

University of Nevada, Reno Police Chief Adam Garcia issued an apology after one of his officers apparently dressed up as former Nevada football standout Colin Kaepernick in a Halloween photo.

The photo that is circulating on social media shows an officer dressed as former San Francisco 49ers quarterback with an imitation nose, an Afro wig, and a sign that says, "Will stand for food."

Kaepernick has been out of football since the 2016 season after he became a national figure credited with starting a movement to protest against discrimination by taking a knee during the national anthem.

Chief Garcia released the following statement regarding the costume on Sunday, Oct. 29:

For those who have seen the Halloween costume of one of our officers apparently mocking a citizen who has chosen to take advantage of his constitutional right to protest, I offer my sincere apologies. Members of our profession are held to a higher standard and denigrating another - on or off duty - is insensitive for its lack of respect and lack of understanding on how others may negatively view their actions and may be impacted.
I have heard from many members of our community over the past few weeks that they feel unsafe on campus because of our current social and political climate. Behavior such as this magnifies unsafe feelings and lack of trust in police, especially when that individual is responsible for the safety of all members of the University, regardless of color, ethnicity, sexual orientation or religion. At a time when officers should be heightened in their attentiveness to perception by our community, this act seems extremely out of touch with those sentiments and reflects poorly on all of us.
To regain the trust of our students, and in particular those of color, will be a challenge and will be a priority through continued education, training and conversation.

This is just one of two extensive apologies Garcia has released regarding one of his officer's behavior over the last month.

A routine traffic stop recorded via body camera on Sept. 24 shows two university police officers confront a group of college students, including 24-year-old Kevin McReynolds. During the stop, Officer Adam Wilson was heard saying, "I'm just going to shoot him if this goes sideways because f--- that." to the black graduate student.


At the 4:20 mark of the video, one of the officers says, "Holy (expletive), I'm glad you're not fighting, you're too big," apparently referring to a black graduate student, who starts laughing.

"I was like, I'm just gonna shoot him if things go sideways," an officer seems to say. The student appears to stop laughing after this comment.

Wilson was placed on administrative leave for his involvement in the incident and the other officer captured in the video was identified as Sgt. Dan Johnson.

A university spokesperson confirmed with News 4-Fox 11 that Wilson was still on leave as of Oct. 25 as the situation was still under an active investigation.

To read McReynold's full statement, click here.

On Friday, Oct. 27, students and community members held a rally at the University of Nevada, Reno campus to show their solidarity for Kaepernick and his national anthem protests.

At the event held outside of the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center, demonstrators heard from several speakers, including State Senator Julia Ratti and Patricia Gallimore, President of the Reno-Sparks chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

The rally culminated with demonstrators taking a kneel while the Star-Spangled Banner was played.

"A lot of people like to change it to say that it's disrespect to the veterans, disrespect to those who fought for our freedom, disrespect to the flag, but that is not at all what Colin Kaepernick is protesting," Precious Gbenjo, president of UNR's Black Student Organization, said. "Colin Kaepernick is protesting police brutality."

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