This year has been a heavy one with communities of color losing loved ones at the hands of law enforcement. And while officers being held accountable and behavioral changes in police departments are the ultimate goal, an apology is always a step in the right direction.
Today (Oct. 17), the International Association of Chiefs of Police, America’s largest police organization boasting a membership of over 18,000 police chiefs globally, delivered a collective “I’m sorry” to the nation’s black and brown communities. According to the Washington Post, while attending a convention in San Diego on Monday (Oct. 17), Terrance M. Cunningham, the chief of police in Wellesley, Mass., delivered a formal apology on behalf of the IACP for police forces’ past actions and the role their jobs played in the mistreatment of minorities.
“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,” he said. “The history of the law enforcement profession is replete with examples of bravery, self-sacrifice, and service to the community. At its core, policing is a noble profession. At the same time, it is also clear that the history of policing has also had darker periods.”
“While we obviously cannot change the past, it is clear that we must change the future,” he continued. “For our part, the first step is for law enforcement and the IACP to acknowledge and apologize for the actions of the past and the role that our profession has played in society’s historical mistreatment of communities of color. It is my hope that, by working together, we can break this historic cycle of mistrust and build a better and safer future for us all.”
Read the full length of his statement on the Washington Post.