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Brooklyn Councilman Sits in Protest During Pledge of Allegiance

BROOKLYN — One of the city’s most vocal proponents of police reform has decided to follow the lead of Colin Kaepernick.

Flatbush’s City Councilman Jumaane Williams remained seated during the Pledge of Allegiance at Wednesday’s stated council meeting, the first full gathering of the government body since their summer break.

The move echoed actions taken by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has sat or kneeled during the anthem before football games in recent weeks to protest the treatment of black people in America. His protest has been repeated dozens of times by other NFL players.

Williams — a backer of reforms to the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy, as well as legislation meant to add more oversight to the department — said the act on Tuesday made “a private protest public.”

“As a person who loves the country of his birth, believes in it and is privileged to have reached a modicum of success in his chosen field, I believe it is my duty to do all I can to raise the voice of those who feel voiceless and who struggle every day,” he said in an Instagram post.

Williams was the only councilmember in the City Hall chamber to sit during the pledge on Wednesday. In an earlier report by Newsday, he said he did it in support of Kaepernick, but also as a continuation of a "personal protest" he's practiced for some time.

“It’s actually been a personal protest of mine for most of my life to question some of the words that are there and... of some of the injustices I’ve seen. I generally stand out of respect. But what’s been going on in this country, I think, has brought our country to a swelling point," he told the paper.

But the councilman isn’t the only one in Brooklyn showing support for the NFL players taking a stand.

Earlier this week, posters cheering Kaepernick’s protest popped up in Brooklyn, from Flatbush to Williamsburg, with the words “end injustice for all.”