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Colin Kaepernick’s new project: What do we know so far about the documentary ‘Killing County’?

A new Hulu series opens the lid on the killing fields of the Bakersfield, Ca police force, who have killed more people per capita than any other force

A new Hulu series opens the lid on the killing fields of the Bakersfield, Ca police force, who have killed more people per capita than any other force
Jamie McCarthyGetty Images

John Steinbeck’s classic The Grapes of Wrath was banned in Bakersfield, after civic leaders complained that the book portrayed their policemen as “divested of sympathy or human decency or understanding.” It appears that Steinbeck wasn’t far off the mark.

A new three-part true crime documentary premiering on Hulu takes on the challenge of exposing the extent of the corruption and homicide that is taking place within this small California town’s police force.

Killing County is made by ABC Studios and lists Colin Kaepernick as Executive Producer. It delves into the 2013 killing of Jorge Ramirez and the series was directed by Michaela Dowd and narrated by André Holland.

Ramirez was working as an informant for the police at the time of the shooting, when a poorly-planned meeting went awry and both the criminal that Ramirez was helping to arrest as well as the informant himself were riddled with bullets from overzealous, trigger-happy Bakersfield police.

Colin Kaepernick saw his NFL career in tatters after deciding to use his fame to make a statement. In a move that became notorious worldwide, he quietly took a knee during the national anthem before a football game, as a simple gesture to highlight the murder committed by police forces around the country with impunity, specifically against black Americans.

Despite Kaepernick’s seeking prior advice from the US military for a gesture that was not offensive, and being advised by them that the taking of a knee was the most acceptable and respectable gesture, great swathes of the US public, egged on by then-President Donald Trump, found great offense in his symbolic act.

Perhaps they disliked the idea of Kaepernick, a mixed race man, calling out perceived racism. Perhaps they were goaded into a reaction by the President. Perhaps they felt that the issue was out of place at a sporting event. All of these excuses for the appertaining rage directed at Kaepernick, while thin at best, are better than the alternative explanation: that they supported wanton killing by the police.

Despite several years trying to make a comeback, it is abundantly clear that Kaepernick will never play in the NFL again. At 35-years-old, it would be difficult for anyone to make a comeback. The baggage that has surrounded him makes it insurmountable.

But with this new-found status as an activist, Kaepernick has found fertile ground. He has started a publishing company and has put out several titles espousing radical concepts such as abolishing the police and prisons.

Now it appears that he is at the very least willing to go out on his shield, backing this hard-hitting documentary series for Hulu. In the battle lines between corrupt police forces and Colin Kaepernick, they have an opponent who won’t avert his gaze. And for that, whether you agree with him or not, you have to tip your hat to Kaepernick for sticking with his convictions.