Acting Philly police commissioner apologizes for LAPD shirt

Philadlephia’s acting police commissioner has apologized for wearing a controversial LAPD T-shirt she was photographed wearing in the 1990s.

The image in question was snapped in 1994. In it, Coulter is wearing a shirt that says, “LAPD We Treat You Like a King.” The language apparently stems from the 1991 beating of Rodney King by the LAPD Those cops were later acquitted for the beatings. 

The New York Post reports that Coulter wore the shirt at police gathering in Wildwood, New Jersey.  

Coulter apologized for the shirt telling outlets that, “I should have known.” 

Additionally, she said, “I am profoundly sorry that anything I would’ve done could’ve caused such hurt.” Coulter claims she only thought of it as an LAPD shirt, and nothing more. 

Coulter also explained that “There’s folks in this room who I have served in their communities who know my heart and know that for 30 years I have served in black and brown communities with all that I ever have to give, never treating people unfairly or unjustly because of their race. Even people I’ve had to arrest, I treated like gentlemen or gentle ladies going through the process.”

Councilwoman Cindy Bass called for Coulter to step down after the photo of her wearing the racially-insensitive shirt surfaced.

Bass wrote a letter to Mayor Jim Kenney calling for the resignation and said, “I do not believe that the Acting Commissioner Christine M. Coulter can effectively manage the external relationships necessary to address police and community tensions which is absolutely required of any commissioner,” an opinion that reportedly drew cheers during a hearing. 

Mayor Kenney released a statement Tuesday saying, he didn’t believe that Coulter should be fired because of a “bad decision,” she made over 20 years ago, and that he was glad that she took responsibility. Kenney also said he believes Coulter was honest when she said she didn’t realize the shirt referenced the King beating.

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