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Finally, an apology from the police, almost. The head of the International Association of Chiefs of Police is saying sorry for “actions of the past.”

Wellesley, Mass. police chief Terrence M. Cunningham is the head of the IACP. With 23,000 members, the IACP is the largest police organization in America. This essentially makes Cunningham the biggest cop in the country.

The IACP had their annual convention in San Diego, Calif. and Cunningham used his time there to address the crowd and cop critics by offering an apology.

Cunningham says:

“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…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 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. While we obviously cannot change the past, it is clear that we must change the future…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.”

“No longer the case.” When does Cunningham think these “darker periods” ended? Last month in Charlotte?

Cunningham’s apology is a decent first step toward repairing the relationship between law enforcement and minorities. But to talk as if police brutality and the corruption that covers it up has ended just because he said so is insensitive to the families that continue to be affected by police officers shooting, choking and killing their fathers, brothers and sisters.

Hopefully Cunningham’s apology and pledge to fix things will rub off on his constituents. This coupled with the Department of Justice finally creating a database to track police killings are both steps in the right direction. Now, we wait, hopefully in peace.

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