October 20, 2016
Chief Terrence M. Cunningham
Immediate Past President, International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP)
485 Washington Street
Wellesley, MA 02482
Dear Chief Cunningham,
On behalf of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), we are writing to applaud you for your significant statement at the recent IACP national convention in which you explicitly recognized the need to address the history between police and communities of color in order to begin to move forward by formally apologizing to the nation’s minority population “for the actions of the past and the role that our profession has played in society’s historical mistreatment of communities of color.”
As the leading nongovernmental organization that trains law enforcement officers on issues of hate crimes and extremism and an organization dedicated to securing justice and fair treatment for all, ADL is a longtime advocate of community-police partnerships. The role of law enforcement in our democracy revolves around the relationship of police to the people they serve.
The tragic events of the past few years have forced police departments across the country to examine their relationships with the communities they serve and to find ways to rebuild trust. They have also sparked serious questions related to race and fairness in the American criminal justice system. Your statement and recognition of the historical role policing has played represents a critical step forward in grappling with these questions and healing the relationship between police and the communities they serve.
As we look forward, we hope that as a society we can also seriously commit to meaningful reforms that save lives, protect law enforcement professionals and restore trust between law enforcement and communities. We deeply appreciate your tireless leadership on these issues, and offer our full continued support on steps forward.
Jonathan A. Greenblatt
CEO of the Anti-Defamation League
cc: David Friedman, Vice President, Law Enforcement, Extremism, Community Security, Anti-Defamation League
Vince Talucci, Executive Director/CEO, International Association of Chiefs of Police