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Air Force Colonel Takes a Knee on NFL Sideline Because Cops Took the Life of His Son

One man who would be considered very respectable in the eyes of average people understands why Colin Kaepernick would make the decision to take a knee during the National Anthem.

Michael Bell Sr., a retired Air Force Colonel, veteran, and combat pilot knows how police brutality can be because his son, Michael Bell Jr., lost his life to the hands of the KPD, Kenosha Wisconsin Police Department.

After his own son was shot in the head execution style by the police, Bell became an activist for police use of force reform. A KPD officer falsely shouted out that his gun had been snatched out of his possession by the man’s son in 2004, during an encounter with Bell Jr. in the driveway of the 21 year old victim.>


An unarmed Michael Bell Jr. was shot and killed by Kenosha police officers in front of his parents’ home in 2004. The actions of the officers involved were deemed justified after an internal investigation. Image credit: npr

Now, about 14 years after that happened, Bell is still fighting police brutality. So on Sunday, Bell Sr. took a trip to Chicago, arriving to Soldier Field to protest on the sidelines of the football field that the Chicago Bears play on.

The man spent a little time pacing back and forth, but then he took off his jacket to reveal a Tampa Bay jersey. The number 1 was present on the back, and so was a picture of his son Michael Bell Jr., his son who lost his life to police.

The jersey reads: “Michael Bell Jr., K***ed by Kenosha Police, No Police Cover Ups.”

In response to his actions at the game, the Free Thought Project managed to speak to Bell and ask him why he chose to take such actions, and what his inspiration was.

He responded, discussing about when police take the lives of innocent people, “a shotgun investigation,” and the official declaration that the police did nothing wrong in taking the life of his son:

“I think the current process is a disgrace. When you have a cover-up like in my son’s death and in the McDonald case, the community and the family of the deceased are feeling pretty darn bad about This thing.”

He was speaking about the shooting of Laquan McDonald, for which at this time several cops are now facing a trial for mu*der.


Michael Bell Sr. (center) and his family stand near one of the billboards they bought in a campaign to bring awareness to internal police investigations. Bell’s son was shot and killed by police in Kenosha, Wis. Image credit: npr

The Free Thought Project asked Bell what he was praying when he took a knee on the sidelines. He responded:

“I was praying for my son and thinking of my son and I was praying that we as a society would find our way through this (phenomenon of police shootings).”

He was asked why he made the decision to protest police executions in this manner, and he replied:

“I took a knee as a moment of silent REMEMBRANCE For my son. I know the investigation was done and covered up after a 56-hour investigation. They blamed my son Michael for his own death and the Cover-up continues to this day.”

Image credit: tftp

The “toxicology report,” arrest record, and every form of blame possible was placed on Michael’s son, and they call it blaming the victim. When asked what Bell would like the readers to know, he responded:

“I want you to know that Colin Kaepernick took a knee for our flag and I stand for our flag. I went out and fought for his rights to express his freedom of speech as he needs to. I think Kaepernick has started some very important dialog on the need for police and community relations.”

When asked if he’d like to meet Colin and what they might have a conversation about, the father said:

“If I had a chance to meet him I personally think our discussion would be about the bravery it took for he and I to do what we’ve done…for the billboards…for he and I standing up and where we would share a common bond.”

The man will continue to do what he does no matter what, and his story is such an incredibly important case because it has the power to grab the hearts of very ordinary, good people across America. On account of that, please share this with as many people as possible.

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