BY A. LAWRENCE CHICKERING AND JAMES S. TURNER
Terrence M. Cunningham, president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and Chief of the Wellesley, Mass., police force offered an apology for historic mistreatment of minorities by police. To a standing ovation of 16,000 assembled police officials he decried the fact that police had become the ‘face of oppression for far too many of our fellow citizens.’ See stories here and here.
Chief Cunningham delivered his remarks on October 17 in San Diego, California, at the convention of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, whose membership includes 23,000 police officials in the United States. The statement was issued, according to the Washington Post, on behalf of the IACP.
The chief said, ‘We must forge a path that allows us to move beyond our history and identify common solutions to better protect our communities. For our part, the first step in this process is for the law enforcement profession 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.’
Chief Cunningham has made a statement of historic importance that could advance the process of healing police-community relations. In addition, the chief’s statement reminds us that all across America and the globe people of diverse interests and viewpoints work together to improve the living conditions of everyone in their communities.
In our view, these efforts too often get lost in the daily flow of news about contention, conflict, and corruption. The Transpartisan Review will focus on magnifying the constructive efforts of communities to address contentious problems with action based on discussion, dialogue, and discourse among groups and individual with divergent viewpoints. Read Chief Cunningham’s statement here and an interview with the chief here.