Baltimore Commissioner Apologizes For '200 Years Of Policing' At Concert

Baltimore Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa addressed the crowd at a hip-hop concert on Apr. 18.

Baltimore, MD – Baltimore Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa took the stage at a hip-hop concert on Apr. 18 to apologize to the crowd for “all of the things that the police have done dating back 200 years,” multiple videos showed.

The ill-received apology was given alongside Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, as the pair stood before the crowd at an Eric B. and Rakim show at the Baltimore Soundstage, The Washington Times reported.

A minister from the Nation of Islam also flanked the pair, the Baltimore Fishbowl reported.

The Nation of Islam is an SPLC designated hate group. The SPLC described the group saying, "Its theology of innate black superiority over whites and the deeply racist, antisemitic and anti-LGBT rhetoric of its leaders have earned the NOI a prominent position in the ranks of organized hate."

“I want to take about 20 seconds to apologize for all the things the police have done dating back 200 years,” Commissioner De Sousa said, conjuring up boos and a smattering of applause from the concertgoers.

“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,” the commissioner went on to outline.

“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,” he said.

Commissioner De Sousa’s words not only drew booing from most in attendance – they also drew the ire of law enforcement officers and their supporters.

On Friday, retired Baltimore Police Major Wesley Wise issued a statement through The Baltimore Sun, and slammed the commissioner for his words.

“Commissioner De Sousa had no need and, in fact, no right to ‘apologize’ for me or my 36 years of service to the department...and to the city I once loved,” Maj. Wise wrote in a scathing editorial. “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.”

Maj. Wise argued that the had served the city with distinction, and that the commissioner’s remarks demeaned the years the major had devoted to Baltimore.

“Commissioner De Sousa has demeaned himself, which...he had every right to do, but he did not have the right to demean me, my contemporaries, or my department,” Maj. Wise wrote.

He then addressed the commissioner pointedly.

“Mr. De Sousa, you sir, and your remarks are a disgrace,” Maj. Wise wrote. “You should be apologizing to the Baltimore City Police Department, not for the department.”

In an Apr. 19 statement, Baltimore Fraternal Order of Police President Gene Ryan said that he agreed that some past policing strategies had been unacceptable, to include zero tolerance, but that the commissioner's apology had gone too far.

“I’m not sure that a blanket apology covering 200 years is appropriate,” Ryan said. “Law enforcement was created to protect and serve the citizenry despite race and that is what we strive to do, daily.”

You can watch footage of Commissioner De Sousa's concert appearance in the video below:

Comments (66)
No. 1-50
Marxest
Marxest

The apology as it is was meant in good faith. And issued on solid foundation. When American law
enforcement officers had officers like Theophilus "Bull" Connor, Micheal Slager, Justin Volpe, Daniel Pantaleo and countless other crooked and racist officers, bad policing will be coupled with racial violence.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

Public apology is the beginning. You have to start somewhere, and this is good a time as any.

And Ryan is off base with law enforcement starting to protect the public of all races. I'm certain in the south, and not so certain about other areas, but police started as slave hunters. So I'm not sure how he thought the apology went too far.

davidebrwn
davidebrwn

So he feels as though any mistakes made over the past 200 are his fault?

Bwalkup1
Bwalkup1

Let me see if I have this straight, a police commissioner apologized for everything the police has done for 200 years?

Nevermind the fact no was was alive 200 years ago. Nevermind the face is isn't the world's only police commissioner, why would he feel it necessary to apologize for anything?

cspcapt
cspcapt

he may regret his remarks, everyone makes mistakes. what about the politicians, i didn't hear their apology!

EODK9Trainer
EODK9Trainer

You, sir, are an embarrassment to the uniform and you need to step down. I apologize to all law enforcement for the likes of you.

Propolice
Propolice

Maybe stop the “raciial criminals” and you might have less “racial violence”
That police commissioner needs to step down he had NO right to say that and he has most assuredly lost the respect of his departments. Step down or be terminated

John-Brown
John-Brown

Using your reasoning, maybe your ancestors were from a relatively weak tribe hence the reason they were captured by stronger African tribes and sold to the white man? And maybe you need to apologize to today's citizens for the weakness of your ancestors? Does that make any sense to you?

LEO0301
LEO0301

Associating with a known hate group like the Nation of Islam should be enough to get him fired. Any other officer would find themselves without a job if they were found in that position. What would your reaction be if a white officer stood on stage with members of the KKK? As far as apologizing for actions of police officers 200 years ago, well all I can say is stop living in the past. That is why so many black men and women are failing to progress in today's society. Too concerned about things that happened in the past and not looking forward to the future. I won't apologize for the actions of very few officers who disgrace the badge. That's not the majority and not who I am. Would you apologize for the actions of blacks who have committed horrific crimes because you happen to be black? Of course not and this commissioner had no right to that either.

LEO0301
LEO0301

How do you feel about the commissioner standing on stage with a member of the Nation of Islam, a known hate group. Would you tolerate a white officer standing on stage flanked by the KKK? Of course not, and this jerk shouldn't be given a pass either. Like in ALL occupations (even the one you work in, assuming you have a job) there are good and bad employees. Studies have shown that the vast majority of police officers do the job as intended. To condemn the entire profession for the actions of a few is moronic.

BlueProtects
BlueProtects

Where did you learn History from. Did they not cover the History of America at all. Where did you get the idea that "no one was alive 200 years ago". Our Constitution is over 250 years old. Christopher Columbus discovered America in 1492.

VicG
VicG

Is this idiot regular Police or appointed? If appointed, dump his stupid ass...

John-Brown
John-Brown

He is a lifelong cop, but was recently appointed police commissioner a month or so ago. This partly white commissioner replaced a fully white commissioner who was sacrificed because of all the blacks in Baltimore killing each other.

RunCop
RunCop

Let's see...... Hip-hop concert.....check. Black commissioner apologizing for (white) police actions for over 200 years.....check. Bow tie wearing Nation of Islam turds in attendance...check. Blacks still killing blacks in Baltimore....black lives splatter......check!

CloserFocus
CloserFocus

Taken right out f the book of BO. How sad. And, embarrassing for him. But he obviously doesn’t know enough to be embarrassed. More ‘Signs of the Times’. Unfortunately. Buckle up. The ride is going to be very bumpy. ;/

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@LEO0301
It's pretty simple, really. Yes, you should concern yourself with the "few" bad cops. They should be flagged and called out publicly by good cops. A cop wields way too much power to not expect to be impeccable at all times.

The military does accountability really well. Cops need to do a MUCH better job of it.

Also, don't compare being black with being a cop. Ones a job, the other isnt.

robocop95
robocop95

What an embarrassment to law enforcement.

LEO0301
LEO0301

I just called out this commissioner for associating with a terrorist group and demanded he be fired. I noticed you seem to be avoiding remarking about that little problem the commissioner seems to have. Is that because he's black and apologetic for the actions of police officers 200 years ago?

LEO0301
LEO0301

@Hi_estComnDenomn I have all the respect for those in the military but to claim they are a well run machine without fault would be inaccurate.

Ladyfluterby
Ladyfluterby

It's not embarrassing to him and in fact it shows the type of person he really is. He is anti police and he's a racist just like Obama was. It's seriously past time for us to start calling these people out for their racism and not allowing them to get away with it. It's also past time to put an end to the war on police officers that was started by Obama and his minions!!!!

bronx163
bronx163

And thats why baltimore is the biggest shithole on earth. Bowing down to animals who have destroyed it.
Let it all implode. Till it hits your door step, let them kill rob rape each other.

DakotaKid
DakotaKid

Could not agree more. Obama started all of this to divide and conquer. He wants to destroy America. Hillary would have just kept it going. Thank God the American people woke up in time, or should I say I hope it was in time. Obama did a lot of damage to this country.

LivinInThePresent
LivinInThePresent

Ok, I will start with this, I never owned no slaves, and you never picked any cotton from 200 years ago! If you can not step into the present and make an argument without stepping into the past, a event that can not be changed no matter how hard you try, and demand that we all cling to that past as motive to ruling our government, thoughts, motives, and changes, then let's back it up 200 years and no welfare, no EBT cards, no free Obama cell phones, no pubic housing, you don't grow it or raise it, you don't eat it, no free handouts, you destroy property or burn down property, you hang, you break in and ransack property, you hang ( NOTICE I AM NOT REFERRING TO ANY RACE OR COLOR), and most every property owner carried guns and used them!

magnumforc
magnumforc

I lived in Baltimore and it was a hotbed of crime 40 years ago. I patrolled the streets during the 1968 MLK riots and it was more disconcerting than tours in Vietnam. This idiot is apologizing for crack that disproportionately affected more blacks? Hmm..maybe because they refuse to clean up their own neighborhoods and can sit at home all day and suck off the hind tit of society? Money to buy crack from where? Many failed to work when welfare was so easy to get. Trading food stamps (before EBT was even though of) for liquor and drugs. This commissioner is a joke just like the disgraced attorney general who left.

RPG156
RPG156

Good for him. And also, who gives a shit what he thinks?

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@LivinInThePresent
Obama cell phones? That was a Bush policy. It just didn't get enacted until Obama was in office.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@LEO0301
Who said well oiled machine? Pay attention. I said accountable.

The military is VERY accountable for its own.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@John-Brown
i said the military is highly accountable. I was in Japan during Okinawa incidents, and EVERYONE, no matter what branch, was limited to the base and their house while the investigations happened.

The rash of ship incidents that happened in 7th fleet last year? Oh yeah. The navy is dropping the hammer on them and then they will probably also be tried in civilian court for loss of life.

I repeat. The military is highly accountable for its own. You'd know that if you served a day of civil duty in your life you lazy mooching fuck.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@BlueProtects
Dont joke on someone's grasp of history if you believe Columbus discovered America in 1492.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@LEO0301
Well i see you commenting this morning which means you woke up alive. That's pretty upsetting i suppose.

LEO0301
LEO0301

So are police departments. It's just that we don't believe in allowing public opinion dictate our reaction to things. Now go back and play with you plastic army men and pretend you were actually in the military.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@John-Brown
Why are you tracking my cycle?

And you only need to serve for 3 months for GI bill. I served significantly longer than that.

I also serve my community, like many people do. Good job on doing what you're supposed to.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@LEO0301
Why would i play with army men? I was in the navy. What you meant to say was "go build your model ships."

And police departments are certainly not accountable overall. And any time a commissioner doves chastise bad cops in public, you and people like you have a fit. Much like how you did on this article.

LivinInThePresent
LivinInThePresent

And your point? You said it yourself, Obama "enacted" it, the program! Even if Bush originated it, Obama then could have stopped it, but he didn't, all greenlights, and took credit for it, so he owns it!

BlueProtects
BlueProtects

If it was worded that way I would have agreed with him. That goes the same about the Blacks. There isn't anyone alive today that was a slave. I'm sick and tired of those Blacks that are still saying that Slavery in America still exists. Or the one that gets me is being told that "I am still held back because of these chains that are holding me back from moving on." it's also a bunch of crap that Whites owe us repression for there ancestors. I'm Irish American and my ancestors were sold for $50 when Blacks were sold for $400 each. The slave owners were more strict on the Irish then the Blacks because they could buy 8 Irish to 1 Black. My ancestors were never Slave Owners.
It's not a large % that insist on living in the past and dreaming up ways to get free $$. The majority of Blacks moved of to better themselves like everyone else.

LEO0301
LEO0301

No, I meant what I said, Cheech. Since we all know you never served, does it really matter what kind of fantasy play toy you use? Because you never worked in law enforcement I don't know how you can say they don't hold their people accountable. Try again, this time with a better argument. The commissioner certainly lost support when he associated with the Nation of Islam. Again, I ask, do you think it's okay for a police officer to associate with a known racist organization?

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@BlueProtects
Fun fact: the Irish were never slaves in America.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@LEO0301
Well, neither of us have ever been cops but it's obvious to see the police department does not hold its own accountable. Compared too the military? Be real.

You see, military members have the "opportunity" to be judged twice. Once by the UCMJ, once by civilian court. And the military is great at culling the herd. Bad apple? Discharge. Too fat/sickly? Discharge. Too old to do your job in uniform? Discharge, and they keep you around to earn great pay and be a consultant.

You can be as fat as you want and be a cop. You can be as bad as you want until shit catches up to you that you've been flipping guns and drugs and sticking false charges to black kids.

When that happened very recently in Baltimore, all of you had excuses about who is a democrat, who voted for who, etc etc. But very little accountability or willingness to "cull the herd."

Also why there is a "Blue Wall of Silence," but have you ever heard of a military equivalent to that?

No, you havent. Because we don't have that bullshit.

RunCop
RunCop

Lowest common denominator....stolen valor liar!

ACRScout
ACRScout

More idiocy from the city that can't put enough cash together to keep the heat on in the classrooms, but can pay to charter buses to take students to DC for an anti second amendment protest. Un American nitwits.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@ACRScout
I dont believe anyone protested the second amendment. Also, protesting is very American. Not sure where you got unAmerican from

godsmack
godsmack

I was in the Military also, and I am also a retired LEO. To say the Military is so superior to policing its own compared to the Police is a complete misrepresentation of Law Enforcement and a trip to LaLa Land. All large bureaucracies have problems from time to time, usually due to bad and corrupt leadership. In all the organizations I worked in, Power tends to corrupt, Absolute Power, corrupts absolutely. Guess who said that? And apologizing for the last two hundred years is just a show. You only apologize for things you had control over.

LEO0301
LEO0301

Again, you have no idea what goes on behind closed doors at a police department. Officers are held accountable but we are not and never should be disciplined by the court of public opinion. The biggest problem with people like you is your ignorance of the laws that govern police officers. As far as fitness for duty is concerned most police departments have weight standards and physical fitness requirements. There are overweight cops and they reflect badly on the profession. However, most of the police officers I see on the road now are fit and well within their weight standards.