Do Liberal Cities Have the Most Racially Diverse Police Forces?

Washington Post: As shown below, “racial diversity is not found exclusively in the police forces of America’s most liberal cities.  The graph plots the unrepresentativeness of each city’s police force against the political views of city residents. The smoothed green line traces the relationship between these two variables. (Only cities for which data on both measures were available are included in the figure.) While very liberal cities such as San Francisco, Seattle and Washington have police forces that look like their populations, the same is true for conservative cities like Colorado Springs, Jacksonville and Virginia Beach. If anything, it is cities in the middle of the political spectrum that are most likely to have a police diversity problem: those with the most unrepresentative police forces have relatively moderate residents. ”

“In sum, among America’s big urban areas, liberal cities are no more likely to have diverse police forces than conservative cities. Why might this be the case? One possibility may be the varying degree across cities to which police unions are powerful … The most likely explanation, however, is that until recently police diversity was not high on the agenda in many cities.”

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