Opinion: A police chief apologized to minorities. He deserves applause.

President Obama speaks alongside Terry Cunningham of the International Assn. of Chiefs of Police during a conversation on community policing on July 13, 2016, in Washington, D.C.
(Alex Wong / Getty Images)

To the editor: After reading Ta-Nehisi Coates’ important book, “Between the World and Me,” I puzzled over how the critical dialogue about the history, dreams, values and realities of our life together as Americans can ever begin between what we call the “races” in our land.

Seeing the headline about International Assn. of Chiefs of Police President Terrence Cunningham’s insightful and courageous statement to a convention of thousands of police chiefs that law enforcement officers have been the “face of oppression for far too many of our fellow citizens” and his apology for the mistreatment of minorities, I realized the dialogue may be well underway. (“Head of nation’s largest police chief group issues formal apology for ‘historical mistreatment’ of racial minorities,” Oct. 18)

The reaction that Cunningham didn’t go far enough was predictable, but the standing ovation he received was not. All of us need to join the dialogue and give ovations when and where they are due.


Richard Hill, Claremont

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion and Facebook