Following the "not guilty" verdict Friday in the fatal shooting of Philando Castile by Jeronimo Janez, a Minnesota police officer, Colin Kaepernick took to Twitter to post an image comparing the U.S. police with the racist slave patrols, known for hunting down runaway slaves in the U.S.
The 29-year-old quarterback who garnered national headlines for kneeling during the U.S. national anthem during the 2016 season, posted an image juxtaposing a slave patrol badge with the U.S. police officer badge.
Castile, 32, was stopped 46 times by the police during his lifetime and was finally killed during the last stop. After Jeronimo Janez was acquitted, Castile's mother, Valerie Castile, said in an impassioned speech, "This city killed my son, and the murderer gets away,” asking, “What’s it going to take?”
A system that perpetually condones the killing of people, without consequence, doesn't need to be revised, it needs to be dismantled! pic.twitter.com/BVVPVZIQyD— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) June 16, 2017
About 48 hours after the verdict, Charleena Lyles who called the Seattle police to report an attempted burglary was shot in her own home in front of her children. The police claimed that they found her wielding a knife.
As Kaepernick pointed out, the U.S. police system is rooted in slave patrols, which were designed, along with Night Watches, to control the African-American slave population in order to protect and uphold white supremacy.
One of the United States' first slave patrol station was founded in 1704 in the colony of Carolina, where the main role of the slave patrols was to take orders from wealthy landowners in hunting and punishing slaves who were treated as property by the rich white landowners.
But the practice of slavery wasn't only prevalent in the southern states, people were abused in regions such as Connecticut, New York and other colonies that enacted laws to criminalize and control slaves. In 1793 and 1850, the U.S. Congress passed Fugitive Slave Laws that allowed the detention and return of escaped slaves.
Appropo to the comparison, Valerie Castile had already stated before the verdict, “We are being hunted."