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In the wake of the police-related deaths of Eric Garner and Michael “Mike” Brown, NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton spoke on the historic injustices enacted upon Black people at the hands of cops. At a Tuesday (Feb. 24) gathering, Bratton said police have been involved in the “worst parts of Black history.”

Bratton was speaking at a Black History Month event at a Queens church yesterday and offered some strong opinions regarding the actions of officers over the past several generations and their relationship with Blacks.

DNA Info has more:

Bratton, who addressed the predominantly African-American crowd during a Black History Month event held at The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York, said that while police have played crucial role in maintaining civil rights and freedom of speech, “many of the worst parts of Black history would have been impossible without police, too.”

“Slavery, our country’s original sin, sat on a foundation codified by laws and enforced by police, by slave catchers,” he said.

The phrase “slave catchers” was not included in the written version of the remarks sent out later by the NYPD press office. A spokesman for the department said that the version represented prepared remarks, and was not a transcript of Bratton’s speech.

Bratton’s words came at a time where there is still considerable discussion and anger around the NYPD’s fatal encounter with Garner, and Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson’s shooting of the 18-year-old Brown.

Bratton’s comments also come on the heels of FBI Director James Comey, who echoed similar sentiments of unfair police treatment in communities of color two weeks ago at Georgetown University in Washington.

Photo: Policy Exchange/CC By 2.0