Montgomery, AL police chief Kevin Murphy made history when he apologized to Congressman John Lewis for the conduct of the Montgomery Police Department during and before the Civil Rights Movement. Murphy explained to Story of America's Annabel Park that in his decades on the force, he found that police work in Montgomery ran up against a wall of mistrust between police and the community they serve, in particular the black community. The apology was a step toward reconciliation, an acknowledgement of a civil rights hero, and an attempt to show that, today, the Montgomery Police Department serves all residents of Montgomery.
One of the great honors on our 18-month (thus far) Story of America journey was meeting Police Chief Kevin Murphy of Montgomery, AL. Recently at the White House, President Obama recognized and thanked Chief Murphy for an act of reconciliation that we documented in the video above.
The exchange too place at the St. Patrick's Day reception (Murphy is Irish American), when President Obama gave Murphy a personal "thank you" for his continued efforts to improve the relationship between law officers and communities of color.