KSNT- Many in Ferguson, Missouri attribute this week’s violence to a racial divide.
Sixty-six percent of the community is African-American, while the mayor, a majority of the city council and a strong majority of the police force is white.
According to the most recent census, the overwhelming majority of Topekans are white with growing numbers of Hispanic and blacks moving here. Of the 300-plus officers in Topeka Police Department, Kansas First News is told roughly 15-percent are minorities, the majority of them women.
A demographic disconnect is something that the Topeka Police Department has been working to fix even before this week’s events. Topeka Police say they do try to reach out to minorities when recruiting, but statistically, minorities aren’t applying to be police officers.
Though the department would like to see more minorities on the force, they need more officers in general. The department was authorized to hire 19 new recruits for their most recent academy class, but only found 13 that met the requirements.