Conflict & Justice

Not just Baltimore: Where police are whiter than those they serve

The frightening scenes of urban unrest in Baltimore, and in Ferguson, Missouri before that, reflect a long-smoldering distrust of police in African-American communities nationwide.

In 1968, the Kerner Commission, appointed following riots in Los Angeles, Chicago, Newark and Detroit, concluded that for some blacks “police have come to symbolize white power, white racism and white repression.” Its report went on to say that the “abrasive relationship between police and the minority communities has been a major-and explosive-source of grievance, tension and disorder.”

For many those words still ring depressingly true today. The commission recommended that big cities recruit more African-Americans for their police departments and review policies to assure fair promotion opportunities for black officers. Since then, a lot of departments, Baltimore’s among them, have made substantive strides in increasing the diversity of their police forces. But Census Bureau statistics also indicate that police in many of America’s largest cities still don’t reflect the makeup of the communities they serve.

New York, New York

Police

49% white
22% black
23% hispanic or latino
6% other races and ethnicities

Residents

34% white
23% black
28% hispanic or latino
15% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

Los Angeles, California

Police

34% white
13% black
41% hispanic or latino
11% other races and ethnicities

Residents

29% white
9% black
48% hispanic or latino
13% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

Chicago, Illinois

Police

49% white
32% black
18% hispanic or latino
2% other races and ethnicities

Residents

32% white
34% black
28% hispanic or latino
7% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

Houston, Texas

Police

51% white
26% black
19% hispanic or latino
4% other races and ethnicities

Residents

27% white
24% black
42% hispanic or latino
7% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Police

58% white
32% black
8% hispanic or latino
2% other races and ethnicities

Residents

37% white
43% black
12% hispanic or latino
8% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

Phoenix, Arizona

Police

74% white
4% black
20% hispanic or latino
2% other races and ethnicities

Residents

48% white
6% black
40% hispanic or latino
6% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

San Antonio, Texas

Police

40% white
6% black
53% hispanic or latino
1% other races and ethnicities

Residents

27% white
6% black
62% hispanic or latino
4% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

San Diego, California

Police

55% white
7% black
30% hispanic or latino
8% other races and ethnicities

Residents

46% white
6% black
28% hispanic or latino
19% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

Dallas, Texas

Police

55% white
28% black
14% hispanic or latino
3% other races and ethnicities

Residents

30% white
24% black
42% hispanic or latino
4% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

San Jose, California

Police

64% white
3% black
21% hispanic or latino
12% other races and ethnicities

Residents

30% white
3% black
33% hispanic or latino
35% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

Jacksonville, Florida

Police

61% white
23% black
9% hispanic or latino
6% other races and ethnicities

Residents

56% white
30% black
7% hispanic or latino
7% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

Indianapolis, Indiana

Police

80% white
16% black
2% hispanic or latino
2% other races and ethnicities

Residents

60% white
27% black
8% hispanic or latino
5% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

San Francisco, California

Police

52% white
9% black
15% hispanic or latino
24% other races and ethnicities

Residents

42% white
6% black
15% hispanic or latino
37% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

Columbus, Ohio

Police

81% white
16% black
1% hispanic or latino
2% other races and ethnicities

Residents

60% white
28% black
5% hispanic or latino
7% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

Austin, Texas

Police

60% white
7% black
31% hispanic or latino
2% other races and ethnicities

Residents

49% white
8% black
35% hispanic or latino
8% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

Detroit, Michigan

Police

44% white
51% black
4% hispanic or latino
1% other races and ethnicities

Residents

8% white
82% black
6% hispanic or latino
3% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

Charlotte, North Carolina

Police

71% white
20% black
7% hispanic or latino
2% other races and ethnicities

Residents

47% white
34% black
12% hispanic or latino
7% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

Fort Worth, Texas

Police

61% white
19% black
18% hispanic or latino
3% other races and ethnicities

Residents

43% white
18% black
33% hispanic or latino
5% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

Memphis, Tennessee

Police

54% white
43% black
1% hispanic or latino
2% other races and ethnicities

Residents

29% white
62% black
6% hispanic or latino
3% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

El Paso, Texas

Police

29% white
1% black
70% hispanic or latino
0% other races and ethnicities

Residents

15% white
3% black
80% hispanic or latino
2% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

Baltimore, Maryland

Police

50% white
47% black
2% hispanic or latino
1% other races and ethnicities

Residents

28% white
64% black
4% hispanic or latino
4% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

Boston, Massachusetts

Police

77% white
12% black
6% hispanic or latino
5% other races and ethnicities

Residents

48% white
23% black
17% hispanic or latino
12% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

Seattle, Washington

Police

71% white
10% black
12% hispanic or latino
7% other races and ethnicities

Residents

67% white
8% black
6% hispanic or latino
19% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Police

70% white
16% black
9% hispanic or latino
5% other races and ethnicities

Residents

38% white
39% black
16% hispanic or latino
6% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

Nashville-Davidson metro government, Tennessee

Police

67% white
28% black
0% hispanic or latino
5% other races and ethnicities

Residents

57% white
28% black
9% hispanic or latino
5% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

Louisville/Jefferson County metro government, Kentucky

Police

84% white
13% black
2% hispanic or latino
1% other races and ethnicities

Residents

70% white
22% black
4% hispanic or latino
4% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

Washington, District of Columbia

Police

48% white
42% black
5% hispanic or latino
5% other races and ethnicities

Residents

33% white
52% black
9% hispanic or latino
6% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

Las Vegas, Nevada

Police

72% white
7% black
12% hispanic or latino
9% other races and ethnicities

Residents

48% white
11% black
31% hispanic or latino
10% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

Denver, Colorado

Police

68% white
5% black
23% hispanic or latino
4% other races and ethnicities

Residents

52% white
10% black
32% hispanic or latino
6% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

Portland, Oregon

Police

86% white
1% black
5% hispanic or latino
8% other races and ethnicities

Residents

73% white
6% black
9% hispanic or latino
12% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Police

80% white
10% black
5% hispanic or latino
4% other races and ethnicities

Residents

58% white
14% black
16% hispanic or latino
12% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Police

48% white
4% black
47% hispanic or latino
2% other races and ethnicities

Residents

43% white
3% black
45% hispanic or latino
8% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

Tucson, Arizona

Police

61% white
3% black
31% hispanic or latino
5% other races and ethnicities

Residents

49% white
4% black
40% hispanic or latino
7% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

Fresno, California

Police

55% white
7% black
26% hispanic or latino
12% other races and ethnicities

Residents

32% white
7% black
46% hispanic or latino
15% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

Long Beach, California

Police

52% white
4% black
33% hispanic or latino
11% other races and ethnicities

Residents

29% white
13% black
40% hispanic or latino
17% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

Sacramento, California

Police

72% white
6% black
9% hispanic or latino
13% other races and ethnicities

Residents

36% white
14% black
25% hispanic or latino
25% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

Kansas City, Missouri

Police

86% white
6% black
6% hispanic or latino
1% other races and ethnicities

Residents

55% white
30% black
10% hispanic or latino
5% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

Mesa, Arizona

Police

89% white
5% black
5% hispanic or latino
2% other races and ethnicities

Residents

66% white
3% black
25% hispanic or latino
6% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Police

73% white
14% black
10% hispanic or latino
3% other races and ethnicities

Residents

65% white
19% black
6% hispanic or latino
10% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

Atlanta, Georgia

Police

35% white
58% black
3% hispanic or latino
3% other races and ethnicities

Residents

36% white
54% black
5% hispanic or latino
5% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

Cleveland, Ohio

Police

66% white
25% black
7% hispanic or latino
2% other races and ethnicities

Residents

35% white
53% black
9% hispanic or latino
3% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

Omaha, Nebraska

Police

80% white
12% black
6% hispanic or latino
2% other races and ethnicities

Residents

70% white
13% black
12% hispanic or latino
5% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Police

80% white
6% black
12% hispanic or latino
1% other races and ethnicities

Residents

72% white
6% black
15% hispanic or latino
7% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

Miami, Florida

Police

26% white
21% black
52% hispanic or latino
1% other races and ethnicities

Residents

10% white
18% black
70% hispanic or latino
1% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Police

81% white
8% black
4% hispanic or latino
7% other races and ethnicities

Residents

60% white
15% black
13% hispanic or latino
12% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

Oakland, California

Police

48% white
20% black
12% hispanic or latino
20% other races and ethnicities

Residents

26% white
28% black
25% hispanic or latino
21% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

Raleigh, North Carolina

Police

79% white
13% black
3% hispanic or latino
4% other races and ethnicities

Residents

54% white
29% black
11% hispanic or latino
6% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Police

89% white
7% black
3% hispanic or latino
2% other races and ethnicities

Residents

62% white
18% black
9% hispanic or latino
10% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

Wichita, Kansas

Police

80% white
7% black
13% hispanic or latino
0% other races and ethnicities

Residents

66% white
11% black
14% hispanic or latino
9% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

Arlington, Texas

Police

72% white
10% black
16% hispanic or latino
2% other races and ethnicities

Residents

46% white
18% black
27% hispanic or latino
9% other races and ethnicities

Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation | Method

To estimate the racial makeup of police and residents in 50 of the most populous cities in the US, the Center used data from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey conducted from 2006-2010, a similar method to a project by the Washington Post. For police, numbers reflect a Bureau estimate of people who work as a police patrol officer, criminal investigator, detective or first-line supervisor in the cities listed. The Bureau based this estimate on survey responses from individuals who said they worked in those jobs. The numbers may include federal, county and other law enforcement officers working in those cities in addition to officers working in metropolitan police departments.

Noun Project icons by Lynn Christensen, Alberto Guerra Quintanilla.

This story is cross-posted by our partners at The Center for Public Integrity