The diversity of American police forces

August 14, 2014

Does the local police force reflect the racial makeup of your community? According to an interactive chart created by the Washington Post today — following this week’s protests over the police killing of an unarmed black teenager in the largely black community of Ferguson, Missouri — the answer is probably not.

wapo-chart

The Post analyzed Census Bureau data, finding that that the vast majority of cities have a police presence that is a lot whiter than their population.

The dots in blue are cities where the police force is more white than the community. The gray are cities where the opposite is true. One of the most interesting things about this chart is the prevalence of dots at the very top: that’s where 100 percent of the police force is white, even when the community is relatively diverse.

Check out the full interactive for more detail.

And here, Reuters looks at the Ferguson PD specific situation:

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