A small group of military veterans knelt during the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of the Sacramento City Council meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017. Ryan Lillis The Sacramento Bee
A small group of military veterans knelt during the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of the Sacramento City Council meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017. Ryan Lillis The Sacramento Bee

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City Beat

Veterans kneel at City Hall as Boy Scouts and police cadets recite Pledge of Allegiance

By Ryan Lillis

rlillis@sacbee.com

October 03, 2017 06:51 PM

UPDATED October 04, 2017 01:49 PM

A small group of military veterans knelt during the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of Tuesday night’s Sacramento City Council meeting.

The members of the local Veterans for Peace chapter took a knee in the front row of the audience as a group of police cadets and Boy Scouts recited the pledge.

John Reiger, the local Veterans for Peace chapter president, said the group was expressing “support for Colin Kaepernick and athletes who are protesting police brutality.”

NFL players have knelt and locked arms during the playing of the National Anthem the past two weeks, a protest started by Kaepernick last year. President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticized the protests.

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“This is an important opportunity to let people know that as veterans we did not serve this country to defend its dark racist underbelly,” Reiger said in an emailed statement. “By taking a knee during those supposedly patriotic moments we stand with the athletes, and other Americans, who want our country to live up to its better aspirations.”

Ryan Lillis: 916-321-1085, @Ryan_Lillis