University of Nevada, Reno Police Chief Adam Garcia is apologizing for an officer who appears to be wearing a Colin Kaepernick costume for Halloween. 

In a statement, Garcia says, “For those who have seen the Halloween costume of one of our University police officers apparently mocking another who has taken advantage of his constitutional right to protest, I offer my sincere apologies. Police officers are held to a higher standard and denigrating another – on or off duty - is insensitive for its lack of respect and understanding on how others may negatively view their actions and may be impacted. 

I have heard from many campus members over the past few weeks that they feel unsafe in our current social and political climate. Behavior such as this magnifies unsafe feelings and lack of trust in police, especially when an individual is responsible for the safety of all members of the University, regardless or 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 is not within the spirit of the department’s community oriented policing philosophy. 

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.”

Earlier this month, Kaepernick filed a grievance against the NFL alleging that he remains unsigned as a result of collusion by owners following his protests during the national anthem.

The former University of Nevada, Reno and San Francisco 49ers quarterback started a national conversation about political activism by athletes last season when he decided to sit, and then kneel, during the anthem to bring attention to mistreatment of African-Americans by police. Other players have continued the protests this season, prompting an angry response from President Donald Trump, who said players should be fired for not standing during the anthem.

Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the 49ers at the end of last season and remains a free agent despite a rash of injuries and poor play at the quarterback position.

The apology comes a little over a month after a different officer was videotaped threatening to shoot a UNR graduate student during a traffic stop.

UNR Police and the Title IX Office are investigating that incident.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)