University apologizes for off-duty officer’s Kaepernick costume
The University of Nevada, Reno recently sent out a campus-wide message to apologize for an off-duty campus police officer who dressed up as Colin Kaepernick for Halloween.
The school’s Assistant Vice President and Director of University Police Services Adam Garcia penned the missive, saying his officer was “mocking another who has taken advantage of his constitutional right to protest,” according to a copy of the email obtained by Campus Reform.
“Police officers are held to a higher standard and denigrating another—on or off duty—is insensitive for its lack of respect and understanding on how others may negatively view their actions and may be impacted,” Garcia wrote.
He then went on to note that students have been concerned about their safety in the “current social and political climate,” and that “behavior such as this magnifies unsafe feelings and lack of trust in police, especially when the individual is responsible for the safety of all members of the university, regardless or [sic] color, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religion.”
The officer’s costume, notably, featured a fake nose, a wig, a Kaepernick 49ers jersey, and a sign that read “will stand for food," alerting the department to his "racist portrayal" of Kaeparnick.
Garcia went on to lament how difficult it could be to “regain the trust” of students after the incident, saying his office will attempt do so through “continued education, training, and conversation.”
“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 not is not within the spirit of the department’s community oriented policing philosophy,” he added.
While Garcia strongly rebuked his officer’s choices, The Washington Times reports that the officer, Antonio Gutierrez, will not be punished for the costume.
“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 added.
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