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Colin Kaepernick is launching an initiative through his Know Your Rights Camp that will offer free, secondary autopsies to family members of anyone whose death is “police-related.”
According to their website, the Autopsy Initiative includes a team of board-certified pathologists who perform autopsies, disclose preliminary findings and issue final reports to 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 initiative hopes to instill confidence in the autopsy process, especially when it involves a police-related death, by providing a free secondary one when a family requests it.
Autopsies reveal critical information including observations and findings indicating the manner in which a victim died. The victim’s first autopsy is conducted by the coroner or medical examiner in the state where the death occurred. 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.
“I am extremely enthusiastic about this truly unique program,” pathology coordinator Dr. Cyril 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 is set to be the focal point of a Spike Lee mini-docuseries on the world’s most recognizable sports activist.