The recent verdict to not indict a whitepolice officer whoshot and kileda black manin Ferguson, Mo. hasspotlighted the issue of how closely a community’s police force resembles the people in that community.
With nearly all of its 53-person police force made up of white officers patrolling a black-majority community, Ferguson represents an extreme end of racial disparity between police and community populations. But a review of 2005-2010 data for more than 700 U.S. communitiesshows that situations wherethe rate of white officers exceeds therate of white residents are relatively common.
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