Cop won't be punished for controversial Colin Kaepernick Halloween costume
The University of Nevada, Reno police chief addressed the 'insensitive' costume that sparked outrage
A University of Nevada, Reno police officer will not be punished for wearing a Halloween costume mocking Colin Kaepernick, says the department's police chief. Chief Adam Garcia apologized Sunday for the "insensitive" costume worn by one of his officers, but said that officer would not face discipline.
"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," Garcia said, via the Reno Gazette Journal.
"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 understanding on how others may negatively view their actions and may be impacted."
The response comes after a photo surfaced of the cop wearing a homemade Kaepernick jersey with a wig, fake nose, and a sign that reads "will stand for food" -- which is a reference to Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem last season to protest racial injustice and police brutality in America. It's believed by many that those protests (and the polarizing responses they elicited) have kept Kaepernick from getting another job in the NFL this season. Kaepernick starred at the University of Nevada before being drafted in the second round (36th overall) by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2011 NFL Draft.
The photo was widely circulated online over the weekend and led to several complaints from the Reno community, many of whom felt the costume was racist in nature. Chief Garcia recognized and addressed the negative perception of the costume, as well as the deeper issues behind it.
"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," Garcia said.
"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."
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