Baltimore’s Police Commissioner shocked local residents and the nation Thursday when he “apologized” for “200 years” of police brutality; sparking a fierce backlash from a region struggling to contain escalating gun violence.
Commissioner Darryl De Sousa addressed the crowd at a sold-out Hip Hop concert this week, asking the audience for just “20 seconds” to beg forgiveness for “all the things that the police have done.”
“I want to take about 20 seconds to apologize for all the things that the police have done dating back 200 years,” said De Sousa.
“Two hundred years ago, all the way to civil rights. All the way to the ’80s where crack was prevalent in the cities and it affected disproportionately African-American men. All the way to the ’90s. All the way to the 2000’s when we had zero tolerance,” he added.
The President of Baltimore’s Police Union slammed the Commissioner’s comments late Thursday night, saying it was not “appropriate.”
“I’m not sure that a blanket apology covering 200 years is appropriate. Law enforcement was created to protect and serve the citizenry despite race and that is what we strive to do, daily,” the union added.
BROWARD BOMBSHELL: Deputy TOLD POLICE to 'STAY AWAY' from High School During Shooting
The disgraced Sheriff’s Deputy who maintained a “defensive position” and refused to enter the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during last month’s mass shooting reportedly told fellow officers to “stay away” from the building; instructing them to remain at least 500 feet back as people lay dying.
According to the Miami Herald, Deputy Scot Peterson told the Broward County Sheriff’s Department, “Do not approach the 12 or 1300 building, stay at least 500 feet away.” Newly released audiotape of police scanners confirm Peterson’s comments; with screams heard in the background as the shooting unfolded.
The records confirm Peterson was well aware that the incident was occurring inside the building; directly refuting his claims he believed the gunman was last seen near the football field.
“It certainly backs up that he never went into the school,” said the president of the Broward County Sheriff’s police union. “At one point he says to keep back 500 feet. Why would he say that?”
Peterson became the center of a media firestorm after reports emerged he refused to enter the building as the carnage unfolded; allowing 19-year old Nikolas Cruz to kill 17 people and injure dozens more without confrontation.
CALIFORNIA CHAOS: Oakland Coffee Shop REFUSES to Serve POLICE for ‘Customer Safety’
The escalating crisis in California between residents, local officials, and federal agents reached a pathetic new low in recent days; with one Bay Area coffee shop flat-out refusing to serve law enforcement to protect the “safety of our customers.”
According to NBC local news, the Hasta Muerte Coffee Company -a restaurant owned by its employees- refused to serve a police officer last February; declining to sell the law enforcement official a cup of coffee while on duty.
The officer left without incident.
The company posted a lengthy description of the event on social media days later, saying the restaurant has “a policy of asking police to leave for the physical and emotional safety of our customers and ourselves.”
“The facts are that [People of Color], women, and queer police are complicit in upholding the same law and order that routinely criminalizes and terrorizes black and brown and poor folks, especially youth, trans, and houseless folks,” adds the statement.
The hateful rhetoric comes as President Trump plans his visit to the state; slamming California officials for routinely violating federal law and shielding illegal immigrants under their ‘Sanctuary City’ policies.
Read the full statement below:
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Last Friday February 16th a police (OPD) entered our shop and was told by one of our worker-owners that “we have a policy of asking police to leave for the physical and emotional safety of our customers and ourselves.” Since then, cop supporters are trying to publicly shame us online with low reviews because this particular police visitor was Latino. He broadcasted to his network that he was “refused service” at a local business and now the rumblings are spreading. We know in our experience working on campaigns against police brutality that we are not alone saying that police presence compromises our feeling of physical & emotional safety. There are those that do not share that sentiment – be it because they have a friend or relative who is a police, because they are white or have adopted the privileges whiteness affords, because they are home- or business- owning, or whatever the particular case may be. If they want to make claims about police being part of the community, or claims that race trumps the badge & gun when it comes to police, they must accept that the burden of proof for such a claim is on them. OPDs recent attempts to enlist officers of color and its short term touting of fewer officer involved shootings does not reverse or mend its history of corruption, mismanagement, and scandal, nor a legacy of blatant repression. The facts are that poc, women, and queer police are complicit in upholding the same law and order that routinely criminalizes and terrorizes black and brown and poor folks, especially youth, trans, and houseless folks. For these reasons and so many more, we need the support of the actual community to keep this place safe, not police. Especially in an area faced by drug sales and abuse, homelessness, and toxic masculinity as we see here on this block. We want to put this out to our communities now, in case we end up facing backlash because as we know OPD, unlike the community, has tons of resources, many of which are poured into maintaining smooth public relations to uphold power. It will be no surprise if some of those resources are steered toward discrediting us for not inviting them in as part of the community.