- The Washington Times
Thursday, February 24, 2022

The Know Your Rights Camp, an organization started by former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, announced Wednesday that it will offer free autopsies to family members of anyone whose death is “police-related.”

The service, called the “Autopsy Initiative,” is partnering with a group of board-certified forensic pathologists who perform autopsies and report the findings to the requesting families.  

“We know that the prison industrial complex, which includes police and policing, strives to protect and serve its interests at all costs,” Kaepernick said. “The Autopsy Initiative is one important step toward ensuring that family members have access to accurate and forensically verifiable information about the cause of death of their loved one in their time of need.”

The Know Your Rights Camp’s website states that the goal of the initiative is to provide an avenue for families with “concerns” about the validity of the first autopsy that is conducted by the coroner or medical examiner. 

“When a police-related death is involved, various concerns may arise including the reliability of the first autopsy conducted, the objectivity of the autopsy, the risk of manipulation of evidence, potential bias on behalf of the coroner or medical examiner, or use of faulty forensic procedures,” the website reads. 

One of the five forensic pathologists associated with the Autopsy Initiative is Dr. Cyril Wecht, a world-renowned pathologist for over 50 years.

“I am extremely enthusiastic about this truly unique program,” Wecht said. “The opportunity to have unbiased second autopsies performed by independent, experienced forensic pathologists in police-related deaths will provide victims’ families with knowledge that the true facts of any such case have been thoroughly analyzed and prepared for appropriate utilization whenever deemed necessary.”

Kaepernick started the Know Your Rights Camp in 2016 — the same year he started kneeling during the national anthem. He hasn’t played in the NFL since. 

• This article is based in part on wire service reports.

• Jacob Calvin Meyer can be reached at jmeyer@washingtontimes.com.

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