on Monday apologized for historic mistreatment of minorities in the United States, calling it a “dark side of our shared history” that must be acknowledged and overcome.
Terrence Cunningham, president of the International Association of Chiefs of ,
told officials at the group’s annual conference that police have
historically been a face of oppression in enforcing laws that ensure
legalized discrimination and denial of basic rights.
While apologizing for past actions, Cunningham said today’s
officers are not to blame for those injustices. He did not speak in
detail about modern policing, but said events over the past several
years have undermined public trust.
“While we obviously cannot change the past, it is clear that
we must change the future,” said Cunningham. “We must move forward
together to build a shared understanding. We must forge a path that
allows us to move beyond our history and identify common solutions to
better protect our communities.”
He said the first step was for
to “apologize for the actions of the past and the role that our
profession has played in society’s historical mistreatment of
communities of color.”
Cunningham, who is police chief of overwhelmingly white
Wellesley, Massachusetts, received a standing ovation for his remarks on
race relations, which lasted about four minutes and came just before he
introduced U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who largely avoided the