NYPD commissioner apologizes, pleads for calm: 'We are human'

1010 WINS Newsroom
June 05, 2020 - 9:24 am
Dermot Shea

Yana Paskova/Getty Images

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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea made an extraordinary apology on Thursday amid ongoing criticism about the department’s handling of protesters decrying police misconduct and racial bias.

“For there to be calm there also must be contrition,” Shea said. “So I am sorry. Sometimes even the best—and the NYPD is the goddamn best police department in this country—but sometimes even the best fall down.”

Shea called for calm and dialogue at Thursday’s news conference but also criticized elected officials and others whom he blamed for stirring up animosity by speaking against police and sharing videos on social media that, presented without context, are seen as evidence of officer misconduct.

“While all this is going on, we hear silence from so many of our elected officials,” Shea said. “It is sickening.”

The news conference came after three officers were wounded in what police called an “unprovoked attack” in Brooklyn. Dozens of other officers have been injured in recent days amid ongoing unrest.

“How do we move forward?” Shea said. “I do not know how we will get there. I wish I had all the answers, but I know this much. We cannot reach that place until we end the hateful speech and the law breaking and the unprovoked attacks against police officers and the rhetoric that fuels.”

Shea said he feared the rhetoric could lead to more officers being hurt or even killed.

“So for our part in the damage to civility, for our part in racial bias, in excessive force, unacceptable behavior, unacceptable language and many other mistakes, we are human. I am sorry. Are you?” he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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