The South Carolina city of Charleston has officially apologized for its role in slavery.

In a 7-5 vote, the Charleston City Council approved a resolution that condemned slavery, while calling for tolerance, The State reports.

Charleston played an important role during the Transatlantic slave trade where nearly half of all Africans brought to North America had to go through Charleston.

William Dudley Gregorie, the city councilman who made the resolution said, ‘the world is looking,” and This document … apologizes for the atrocities of the past.”

Before the vote, there was an almost two-hour public debate from city council members that got so intense that the Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg has to clear the chamber.

“We need to work on the economic side of things so our community can go forth together in harmony and financially,” said Perry Waring, a Black city council members who did not vote for the measure.

Another councilman said that his constituents did not want to apologize for slavery since they had no part in it.

“We cannot pick and choose history,” Councilman Harry Griffin said.