A day after the Santa Clara Police Officers' Association sent a letter to 49ers CEO Jed York with the intent of addressing the situation regarding Colin Kaepernick, Police Chief Michael J. Sellers issued a statement Saturday afternoon clarifying the department's stance:
Yesterday, the Santa Clara Police Officers Association (SCPOA) sent a letter to the 49ers organization requesting that they take action against their employee, Colin Kaepernick, for his recent statements and behavior towards police officers.
The SCPOA suggested that if the 49ers did not address his behavior, members of the union might choose to not work Levi's Stadium events.
Many of us in the law enforcement community have been saddened and angered by Kaepernick's words and actions. His blanket statements disparaging the law enforcement profession are hurtful and do not help bring the country together. As distasteful as his actions are, these actions are protected by the Constitution. Police officers are here to protect the rights of every person, even if we disagree with their position. Police officers have sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution.
In Santa Clara we are fortunate to have excellent police-community relations that are built on trust and mutual respect. We have gone to great lengths to engage with our community to listen and understand their needs. As the Chief of Police, I am committed to continuing the relationships we have with our residents.
The men and women of the Santa Clara Police Department are highly trained and professional law enforcement officers. The safety of our community is our highest priority. I will urge the POA leadership to put the safety of our citizens first. I will work with both sides to find a solution. In the meantime, I will ensure we continue to provide a safe environment at Levi’s Stadium.
Chief Michael J. Sellers
Santa Clara Police Department