BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore’s police commissioner addressed a crowd at a hip-hop concert alongside the mayor, but the audience didn’t seem interested in what he had to say.
“I want to take about 20 seconds to apologize for all the things that the police have done dating back 200 years,” Commissioner Darryl De Sousa said at Wednesday’s Eric B. & Rakim concert at Baltimore Soundstage.
A video posted by Baltimore Fishbowl shows De Sousa being met with a few applause but mostly boo’s — as well as several profanities.
“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,” De Sousa added.
The commissioner went on to say he promises changes will be made to policing in the future.
On Thursday night, the president of Baltimore’s police union issued this statement, in part: “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.”
Baltimore Soundstage says the remarks were not choreographed, but they said, in part, “We saw two passionate public servants starting a conversation that needs to be had.”
Baltimore has also seen a surge in violence over the past few weeks after a decline to start the new year.