- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 25, 2015

New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton told a predominantly black crowd Tuesday that police have made some of the worst parts of black history possible, including slavery.

Speaking at a Black History Month event in Queens, Mr. Bratton said that while police have played crucial role in maintaining order during civil unrest, “many of the worst parts of black history would have been impossible without police, too,” DNAinfo reported.

“Slavery, our country’s original sin, sat on a foundation codified by laws and enforced by police, by slave catchers,” he added.

The commissioner pointed out that one of the first things Dutch colonist Peter Stuyvesant did upon arriving in what is now Manhattan was create a police force to use slaves for labor.

“Since then, the stories of police and black citizens have intertwined again and again,” he said, DNAinfo reported. “The unequal nature of that relationship cannot and must not be denied.”

Mr. Bratton said that the department is working on providing better training and recruiting a more diverse group of officers. He also stressed the importance of having the community’s support.

“We cannot change the past, but working together we can change the future,” he said.

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