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Leader of police chiefs group apologizes for historical racial abuse

The president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police issued a public apology for historic mistreatment of people of color. He said the injustices of the past have created mistrust in some communities today. (Oct. 17)

The president of one of the largest police organizations in the United States on Monday apologized for the historical mistreatment of minorities, 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 Police, said at the group's annual conference that police have historically been a face of oppression, enforcing laws that ensured legalized discrimination and denial of basic rights. He was not more specific.

For our part, the first step in this process is for law enforcement ... 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.

Terrence Cunningham, president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police

Cunningham said that today's officers are not to blame for past injustices. He did not speak in detail about modern policing, but said events over the past several years have undermined public trust. The reaction from leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement was mixed, saying words needed to be backed by actions, but the head of an officers' union in Minnesota said there was no need to apologize. Cunningham received a standing ovation for his remarks before he introduced U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who largely avoided the topic.

Our profession is under attack right now and what we don't need is chiefs like him perpetuating that we are all bad guys in law enforcement.

Lt. Bob Kroll, head of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis
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International Association of Chiefs of Police

International Association of Chiefs of Police(IACP) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Alexandria, Virginia.