On Monday, the biggest police organization in the United States issued a formal apology “for the actions of the past and the role that our profession has played in society’s historical mistreatment of communities of color.” This gesture arrives after a seeming acceleration of clashes between officers and citizens, some fatal.
Terrence M. Cunningham, the president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police as well as the chief of the Wellesley, Mass. police force, delivered the apology at the organization’s convention in San Diego. The IACP’s membership includes 23,000 police chiefs who work at departments throughout the country. Cunningham spoke to an audience of 18,000 members:
“Events over the past several years have caused many to question the actions of our officers and has tragically undermined the trust that the public must and should have in their police departments. There have been times when law enforcement officers, because of the laws enacted by federal, state, and local governments, have been the face of oppression for far too many of our fellow citizens … While this is no longer the case, this dark side of our shared history has created a multigenerational — almost inherited — mistrust between many communities of color and their law enforcement agencies.”
Cunningham’s speech reportedly received a standing ovation. You can read his full statement here.
(Via Washington Post)