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Colin Kaepernick put a spotlight on conditions in this nation’s dysfunctional prison system with a visit to what’s arguably the most notorious jail in America. He sparked controversy on Tuesday with a surprise visit to meet with detainees inside the George Motchan Detention Center on New York’s Rikers Island, The New York Daily News reported.

RELATED: After Kalief: What’s Next For Rikers Island & New York’s Broken Jail System

“This will only encourage inmates to continue to attack correction officers at a time when we need more protection,” said Elias Husamudeen, president of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association. He lashed out at Mayor Bill de Blasio and rescinded the union’s sponsorship of a Christmas tree lighting celebration.

Husamudeen and others who protest Kaepernick’s criminal justice system advocacy are trying to deflect attention from the many jails like Rikers, which is schedule to be shut down. Rikers was thrust into the national spotlight after Kalief Browder took his life. Browder was detained for three years on Rikers Island where he suffered documented torture, including brutal attacks, constant confinement to a 6 foot by 8 foot cell and reported starvation.

“The world should see the hell that is Rikers Island. The fact that correction officers are more focused on his socks while people are getting their brains bashed in is despicable,” said Glenn Martin, founder of JustLeadershipUSA, referring to the union chief pointing out that Kaepernick was once seen wearing socks that depicted cops as cartoon pigs. Despite efforts to silence him, Kaepernick has weathered the storms of criticism. The quarterback started a national conversation about racial bias in the criminal justice system in 2016 by kneeling during the National Anthem to protest injustice.

SOURCE:  The New York Daily News


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