University of Nevada-Reno police has issued an apology after one of their officers was photographed wearing a racist Colin Kaepernick Halloween costume. Reno Police Chief Adam Garcia issued an apology on Sunday.
The officer photographed in the costume has been identified as Antonio Gutierrez. Gutierrez is seen dressed in a wig, a painted on beard, a false nose and a sign that says, “Will stand for food”, wearing a mock San Fransisco 49ers jersey.
While UNR police did not confirm the identity of the photographed officer, side-by-side photos make appear to show that it’s Officer Gutierrez.
Colin Kaepernick graduated from the University of Nevada.
— 💫gay conspiracy theorist (@glaserface) October 29, 2017
Garcia addressed growing tensions on campus that have included an investigation into an officer who said to UNR graduate student Kevin McReynolds during a routine traffic on Sept. 24, “I’m just going to shoot him if this goes sideways because f— that.”
The traffic stop was recorded on an officer’s body camera. In that case, the officer is on leave and an investigation is pending. UNR did not name the officer in the Halloween photo and said no action will be taken.
“As insensitive and inappropriate as this is, we have no policy that would dictate any disciplinary action,” said UNR spokeswoman Kerri Garcia. The police chief said in his statement that he has heard from many members of the community that feel unsafe on campus because of the current social and political climate.
Police Chief Garcia released a full statement on the offensive costume:
“For those who have seen the Halloween costume of one of our officers apparently mocking a citizen who has chosen to take advantage of his constitutional right to protest, I offer my sincere apologies,” Garcia wrote in a statement obtained by BSO. “Members of our profession are held to a higher standard and denigrating another — on or off duty — is insensitive for its lack of respect and lack of understanding on how others may negatively view their actions and may be impacted.
“Behavior such as this magnifies unsafe feelings and lack of trust in police, especially when that individual is responsible for the safety of all members of the University, regardless of color, ethnicity, sexual orientation or religion. At a time when officers should be heightened in their attentiveness to perception by our community, this act seems extremely out of touch with those sentiments and reflects poorly on all of us.”
“To regain the trust of our students, and in particular those of color, will be a challenge and will be a priority through continued education, training and conversation.”
Officer Gutierrez has yet to respond to the photograph.
Kaepernick played four seasons at the University of Nevada, accumulating the most touchdowns in program history (82 passing, 59 rushing) while throwing for over 10,000 yards. Kaepernick compiled a 32-16 record with Nevada before being drafted by the San Fransisco 49ers with the 36th pick in the 2011 draft.