There are a lot of cops who have nothing to apologize for; #NothingToApologizeFor. Yet that didn’t stop one police commissioner from issuing an apology on their behalf.
Before explaining, we want to ask: Do you remember when you were a new police officer and you did something well-intentioned, but it was the dumbest thing in the world?
As a result, your field training officer (FTO) looked at you and said, “What the (fill in the blank) are you doing?” Although it sounds like a question, your FTO was actually making a declarative statement, which translated means, “Stop (what you’re doing) you dumb a**!”
Well, we have one of those moments with Baltimore Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa. Along with Mayor Catherine Pugh, he took the microphone during the reunion tour for hip-hop act Eric B. & Rakim at Baltimore Soundstage on Wednesday night. In doing so, videos of the appearance posted to social media suggest he didn’t exactly woo the audience, reported the Baltimore Sun.
Yet after the mini-speech, the response by rank and file cops is bombastic as well.
Videos posted to Instagram show De Sousa apologizing to the mostly unappreciative crowd. He wanted to say “sorry” about how police have mistreated black communities since the nation’s founding.
That’s right, the commissioner issued a blanket apology covering more than two centuries:
I want to take about 20 seconds to apologize for all the things the police have done dating back 200 years. 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 2000s when we had zero tolerance.
I want to take the time to apologize for what policing did and I promise you we’re going to make a change in the future.
With rare exception, the unruly crowd wanted De Sousa gone as he spoke. At least one person can be heard yelling profanities. In another video someone repeatedly shouts “get the police off the stage.”
Someone is even giving De Sousa “the finger” while he speaks. Let’s just say he didn’t exactly have a captive audience.
Warning: Video contains profanity
And by Thursday afternoon, the union that represents De Sousa’s rank and file officers was also pushing back on his comments.
Gene Ryan, the president of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #3, issued a statement saying he didn’t think the blanket apology was appropriate.
“Law enforcement was created to protect and serve the citizenry despite race and that is what we strive to do, daily,” the union president wrote. “Are we perfect? No, of course not, but as a profession we work very hard to care for all of our citizens.”
In an interview, Ryan said that while he disagreed with De Sousa’s comments, he remained willing to give him a chance.
“I think he’ll do a great job because he’s homegrown,” he said. “He knows Baltimore.”
James Bentley, a spokesman for Pugh, said the mayor “stopped by at the invitation of some Muslim community leaders” and gave a greeting.
A spokesman for De Sousa could not immediately be reached for comment, according to the Baltimore Sun.
Nothing to apologize for . . . #NothingToApologizeFor
John “Jay” Wiley, Law Enforcement Today Radio Show host and producer is also a retired sergeant of the Baltimore Police Department. He was incensed at the blanket apology. Moreover, he also let us know that hundreds, if not thousands of current and former Baltimore police officers are voicing their opinion saying they have nothing to apologize for. Furthermore, it is spreading like wildfire in their circles, and we wouldn’t mind seeing it go national.
These quotes are representative of what is being said, and used with the permission of each person quoted, beginning with Jay:
“11 years and 4 months before I was retired due to permanent injury from the Baltimore Police Department as a Sergeant. I was injured by a violent felon who was trying to kill me. I have nothing to apologize for. As a matter of fact I’m still waiting for my apology from the Department and their admission that they were wrong.” – John “Jay” Wiley
“I will never apologize for the best thing I have ever done in my life. Nothing to Apologize For” – Rick M. retired Baltimore Police
“I’m in Delaware. Not a problem with aiding an officer ANYWHERE, ANYTIME.” Nothing to Apologize For. – Mitch P. retired Baltimore Police
“Not sorry for a thing in my career. In fact if I could do it all over again with the same group of men and women I would do it without hesitation!” Nothing to Apologize For. – Mark H. retired Baltimore Police
“We as former POLICE OFFICERS of the BPD say that WE won’t be humbled or diminished for our honorable deeds serving as OFFICERS. Policing in Baltimore City is an extremely hard job. It’s dangerous, bloody , and often tear filled. We endure what most of America couldn’t ever imagine !!!!!! For the Police commissioner to apologize for the past 200 years is absolutely shameful and a disgrace to all the men and women of the BPD who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. Not to mention the daily and lifelong mental anguish of the surviving members who have worked Hard and continue to do so” Nothing to Apologize For. – Sean R. retired Baltimore Police
“Thirty-four years proudly served with BPD. Best career choice, best department, best group of men and women to serve with. Without hesitation.” Nothing to Apologize For. – Jay B. retired Baltimore Police
“I will never apologize to all the heroes of police department who gave their lives to Baltimore City in the line of duty.” Nothing to Apologize For.
– Angie Gomez Halcomb, whose late husband, Baltimore Police Officer Jimmy Halcomb, was murdered in the line of duty April 16, 1976
“As a retired Sgt. with 28 yrs of Service I have nothing to apologize for, and I take offense for all who paid the ultimate price for their service! Too many gave their lives, protecting this city and it’s people! And personally, I am amazed that any of the current members of the force, continue to do their duty, in spite of Public Disdain, Government interference, and a Mayor, City Council, and now a Police Commissioner who display their total disdain for them!” Nothing to Aplogize For. – George F. retired Baltimore Police
“7 years Baltimore PD, 16 years Maryland State Police. 23 years of combines service and nothing to apologize for.” Nothing To Apologize For. – James K. retired Maryland State Police
“27 years in the Baltimore Police Department and I HAVE NOTHING TO APOLOGIZE FOR!!!” – William P. retired Baltimore Police
“The 136 Baltimore City Police Officers whose names are engraved on Police Head Quarters, the National Memorial Walls and the marble at the Police Hall of Fame in Florida and their families certainly do not need to apologize, if anything the city needs to apologize to them.” Nothing To Apologize For. – Kathy C. retired Baltimore Police.
“Sir, you have no need, and in fact, no right, to “apologize” for me or my 36 years of service to the department (1970-2006) and to the city I once loved. Those remarks and that lame “apology” are offensive, and as of this moment, I’m almost ashamed to be associated with what has become of my beloved police department.” Nothing To Apologize For. – Wesley W. retired Baltimore Police
“Let me be perfectly clear. After serving 25 yrs in Law Enforcement in the City of Baltimore, I do owe apologies to two groups of people. One, is the officers who were killed in the line of duty or were serious injured. Sorry, I wasn’t on scene with any of you to where maybe I could have made a difference in the outcome, and two, to all the innocent victims of crime. I can promise that in my heart of hearts I know I did everything in my power to see that you received the justice you deserved, only to be deceived by a incompetent Baltimore City court system, SAO, and an inept criminal justice system. Yes to all of you I apologize to. But for the hundreds of arrests that I made in my career, I couldn’t be more proud of the job I did, plain and simple!!!” Nothing To Apologize For. – Sam G. retired Baltimore Police
“I have NOTHING to apologize for. Every day that I worked I put my life on the line for people I didn’t know whether they cared about me or not. ” Nothing To Apologize For. – Gary P. retired Baltimore Police
“There are many apologizes I should issue for serving almost 30 years on the Baltimore Police Department. First and foremost to my deceased Mother. I may have hastened your departure from this world as I know you worried about me everyday. I tried my best to reassure you that I worked with great people who had my back but it did little to comfort you. To my daughter I apologize for all the school events I couldn’t attend. I’m sorry your friend didn’t like my job and caused you to defend me. I am sorry to my family for the weddings, christening, birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, and other events I couldn’t attend because work came first. I lost count of the many events I had tickets to but a last minute call caused me not to attend. Yes I have a lot of apologies to give and a lot of forgiveness to ask for but not because I was a Police Officer doing my job! I was proud to be a Police Officer doing my job with honor and dignity. I did the job I was sworn to do and there should be NO apology from me or the other fine officers I worked with. We did what we were asked to do and we did it with honor.” Nothing To Apologize For. – Andrea N. retired Baltimore Police
Now don’t get us wrong. We believe if you need to make amends, an apology is good for the soul. Isn’t that what we tell crooks? Well, it’s true! And if the commissioner wants to apologize for corrupt cops who now find themselves before the courts or imprisoned, that’s fine.
However, we do not need commissioners, politicians or police chiefs making symbolic gestures by issuing blanket apologies for the sins of cops throughout history. How meaningless is that?
If you have nothing to apologize for as a cop, let’s hear from you. And to the haters who troll our media, keep your caustic comments to yourself, otherwise you’ll owe us an apology!
– LET Staff