Colin Kaepernick teams up with RFK Human Rights to support community bail funds

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Jails present a heightened risk of infection during the ongoing pandemic. Plenty of Americans who have yet to be convicted but who can’t afford bail remain stuck in jail pending the resolution of their charges.

Colin Kaepernick and his Know Your Rights camp have teamed up with Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights to help. The groups announced on Thursday morning that $1 million will be donated to community bail funds.

Dubbed the Funds for Freedom partnership, the effort expands on the RFK group’s Emergency Bail Out Action from earlier in the year. Initially, they’ll focus on 10 cities: Atlanta, Baton Rouge, Detroit, Durham, Fort Worth, Memphis, Miami, Nashville, New Orleans, and San Antonio. (For more information and/or to donate to the efforts in any of these ten cities, just click on the city name.)

“Our legal system unjustly criminalizes our Black and Brown communities, penalizing poverty under the guise of keeping our communities safe,” Kaepernick said in a press release. “We must reimagine the current system and abolish wealth-based detention, freeing our brothers, sisters, and siblings from a racist system.”

Jails and prisons currently entail the five largest clusters of COVID-19. Seventy percent of the people in local jails are simply waiting for their day in court, because they can’t afford bail.

“Predatory cash bail is part and parcel of the institutionalized anti-Black racism that has plagued our country,” added Kerry Kennedy, the president of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. “This $1 million commitment from Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp will empower community-led bail funds and accelerate their crucial work freeing people caged in our local jails, but our funding alone will never be enough. Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights’ team of lawyers and advocates will work with local organizers to stop the aggressive policing and endless cycle of mass incarceration that have targeted poor and Black communities and move to end cash bail now.”

Remember, these incarcerated individuals haven’t been found guilty of anything. Under the Constitution, they’re still presumed innocent. And yet they languish behind bars because they can’t afford the payment necessary to secure their freedom pending trial.

“There is an urgency that I feel when it comes to getting people out of a cage,” Rahim Buford, manager of the Nashville Community Bail Fund said. “One hour, or two, or three in a jail cell — it can traumatize you for life, and the risks are even greater now with COVID-19 in jails across the nation. Of the 1,000 people we’ve freed since 2016, over half of those cases were ultimately not prosecuted. Had they stayed in jail, they would’ve more than likely pled guilty.”

Think about that. More than half who were jailed and then freed on bail were never even prosecuted.

So, yes, this is a problem that needs to be addressed. Again, to help in any of the 10 cities where current efforts are being focused — Atlanta, Baton Rouge, Detroit, Durham, Fort Worth, Memphis, Miami, Nashville, New Orleans, and San Antonio — just click on the city name.

16 responses to “Colin Kaepernick teams up with RFK Human Rights to support community bail funds

  1. Keep in mind, the purpose of bail is to secure the return of the accused to face trial. The thought is that if the accused has to put up a certain amount of money in order to gain freedom while awaiting trial, they are more likely to show up – because they wouldnt want to forfeit the bail they put up.

    Yes, obviously people with less money would be impacted by this – but that isnt a race issue. That’s an economics issue. Im sure most reasonable people are open to suggestions on alternatives – but here’s my question. If someone else puts up your bail money – and you have no skin in the game – does that likely increase the number of people who are willing to jump bail?

    Just a thought

  2. Wonderful, people who would have pleaded guilty were not prosecuted. Sounds like they should stay in jail instead of being released on bail

  3. just like the Seattle mayor, rioting, looting was fine until they showed up at her house

  4. surran70065 says:
    July 2, 2020 at 9:32 am

    If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime

    ____________
    chickennecker says:
    July 2, 2020 at 9:57 am

    Here’s an idea…stop breaking the law
    _____________________________

    Did you boneheads even read the article before chiming in with your id1otic comments?

    “…Of the 1,000 people we’ve freed since 2016, over half of those cases were ultimately not prosecuted. Had they stayed in jail, they would’ve more than likely pled guilty.”

    Serious question – Are you stupid or ignorant? It’s as if you folks actually like being dumb.

    i guess you can take the man out of the cave, but not the cave out of the man

  5. Rights of the accused are important. Very important.

    But as we ponder changes, let us not forget the rights of the victims. Some will fear retaliation if the accused is released. Others will be discouraged if the person who harmed their loved one is released without consequence.

  6. Id love to hear Kaepernicks “Social Justice” thoughts on the two murder victims and the two teenagers that were shot in the Seattle Chopzone.

    Why isnt he crying for justice for them?

  7. Agree 100% with comment above. I wish there was as much focus and energy on helping the victims of financial non violent or violent crime as there are compassions for the righly or false accused

  8. So Kap supports criminals. Obey the law and not break it, and then end up in jail in the 1st place.

  9. Releasing more criminals into the streets sounds about as stupid as defunding the police.

  10. This reminds me of the case of Kalief Browder who was arrested for allegedly stealing a backpack and spent the next three years(two of them in solitary), without any conviction, in Rikers Island because he was too poor to make bail. He suffered physical and sexual abuse in prison and, after his eventual release–still without a conviction; the judge finally freed him in advance of his case being dismissed–he committed suicide.

    Mr Bowder’s case is just an extreme example of how broken our criminal justice system is.

  11. Our criminal justice system is very broken. Much of this is due to racial profiling and segregation in our prisons. It seems that these days NOBODY is innocent until proven guilty. I don’t think that bail should even be available, if you’ve done something that warrants you getting arrested, than you should be in jail. Unfortunately because of some bad law enforcement officers, some innocent people are arrested without proof of involvement in a crime.

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