Police officers take a knee for George Floyd, saying his death is disturbing 'to the core'
SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - At many protests across the country and the Bay Area, police officers joined peaceful demonstrations.
Santa Cruz Police Chief Andy Mills was seen kneeling with George Floyd demonstrators on Friday night - a symbol sparked four years ago by former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who took a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality against African Americans.
The white officer in Minneapolis also kneeled on Floyd's neck killing him, and on social media, many have combined the images of Kaepernick and the officer together to show the irony of the two messages.
Mills released a statement over the weekend saying he felt the need to speak out when something is wrong: "The killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis disturbs me to my core."
Last week, San Jose police chief Eddie Garcia also condemned Floyd's death.
"These types of incidents are the reason why communities of color lack a lot of trust in law enforcement," he said. "It's a reality, and it's another example as to why that is. And so we have to work just as hard."
In New York City over the weekend, officers also knelt as community members read aloud the names of African Americans who have died in the United States during police encounters. Officers hugged the members of the crowd afterward.