Terrence Cunningham, president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, recently issued an apology to minority groups who have been affected by police brutality. In his speech, Cunningham said, “There have been times when law enforcement officers, because of the laws enacted by federal, state and local governments, have been the face of oppression for far too many of our fellow citizens.” He explained that our current police force carries bad relations with minorities and they must foster understanding between the two groups.
While Cunningham’s sentiment comes from a good place, an apology does nothing to rectify the pattern of brutality that still exists. It is a good first step but much more is needed to put a dent in the problem.
IACP and other police organizations should begin advocating against legislation and rhetoric that enforces brutality against minorities, such as New York City’s stop-question-and-frisk program.
Organizations should begin employing body cameras and stricter consequences for guilty officers. Officers should not be able to simply take paid vacation and return to work after major incidents. Harder examination should also be required to become a police officer. Minorities should not have to be the victims of institutional negligence.