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Ferguson, MO, is 67 percent black, but just 3 out of its 53 police officers are

Getty Images
Getty Images
Scott Olson

Ferguson, Missouri, is a black town. In 2010, the St. Louis suburb was 67.4 percent black and 29.3 percent white. But if you looked at the city's leadership, you would never know it.

From the Los Angeles Times:

Ferguson’s police chief and mayor are white. Of the six City Council members, one is black. The local school board has six white members and one Latino. Of the 53 commissioned officers on the police force, three are black, said Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson.

As my colleague Dara Lind has pointed out, a state report on racial profiling revealed that last year, 86 percent of traffic stops and 92 percent of all arrests in the city were of black residents. For anyone who didn't understand the context of Ferguson residents' anger and frustration, and why the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager Saturday caused it to bubble over, think of these arrest stats. Then compare the demographics of the city to the demographics of its police force and city council.

Correction: A previous headline on this story indicated that Ferguson's police force is 94 percent white. It is currently unclear how many white officers are on Ferguson's police force.

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