Ferguson unrest brings to light racial breakdowns in law enforce - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Ferguson unrest brings to light racial breakdowns in law enforcement agencies

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)

(WMC) – In the weeks following racial tension in Ferguson, Mo., people across the country are looking at the racial breakdown of law enforcement forces.

When you look at Shelby County numbers, the clear stand out is Germantown Police Department. The proportion of black officers is more than two times greater than that of the population.

Black residents make up 3.6 percent of the population, but 10.9 percent of the police force.

Though, in other area agencies, black people are underrepresented on the forces.

All of this information comes after Commercial Appeal compared a survey of area departments to recent census date.

The black/white gap, as reported by the paper, is largest in Bartlett Police Department, where blacks make up 16.1 percent of the population but only 3.4 percent of the police force.

Commercial Appeal spoke with K.B. Turner, the University of Memphis criminology department chair who said, "Police are only as successful as the community and the support they get from the community they serve."

Here's a look at Memphis' break down: Black residents make up 63.3 percent of the population and 51.6 of Memphis Police department.

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