``We made a mistake, and it was our intention to fix it,'' Deputy Inspector Christopher Jamison said Tuesday.
Relations between police and some members of the Muslim community have been strained since Dec. 4, when officers cracked down on the unlicensed book sellers.
A civilian complaint report said police ``stomped the holy books to press (them) down in a bag'' and treated them ``like trash.'' The police switchboard lit up with angry callers, Jamison said.
Jamison said the officers were trying to ease sidewalk and traffic congestion. ``The community, however, felt that placing the items in the bags was akin to throwing the sacred book in the trash,'' said Jamison, who formally apologized to 10 Muslim leaders on Monday.