Philadelphia’s acting police commissioner is facing calls for her resignation Wednesday in response to a recently surfaced, 25-year-old photograph of her wearing a T-shirt that reads “LAPD: We Treat You Like a King,” a mocking reference to the 1991 Rodney King beating.
Christine Coulter publicly apologized during a Philadelphia City Council meeting on Tuesday, saying in part that at the time, she didn’t seen the link between the slogan on the shirt and the widely publicized videotaped beating of King, a black motorist, by Los Angeles Police Department officers.
“I sincerely hope that a careless decision that I made over 25 years ago doesn’t overshadow the work that I’ve done,” Coulter said. “I am profoundly sorry for the pain that the shirt and the picture has caused, not to me, but to the city and the communities that we serve.”
She said wearing the shirt “was a bad decision on my part and I would not wear that shirt today.” But she denied insinuations that the shirt is indicative of her being insensitive toward minority communities.
“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,” Coulter said during the council hearing, according to media reports out of Philadelphia. “Even people I’ve had to arrest, I treated like gentlemen or gentle ladies going through the process.”
Her apology, however, did little to subdue critics, including City Councilwoman Cindy Bass, who called on Coulter to resign, saying it is “inconceivable that she was unaware (of) the T-shirt reference of a widely publicized brutal beating of a citizen by officers of the Los Angeles Police Department.”
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