Percentage of African-Americans in U.S. Police Departments Remains Flat Since 2007

Ben Kesling and Cameron McWhirter, Wall Street Journal, May 14, 2015

The percentage of African-Americans in U.S. police departments has remained flat since before the recession, even as police hiring of other minorities has increased, according to a U.S. Department of Justice survey released Thursday.

A lack of black officers, especially in communities with large African-American populations, has been cited frequently in the wake of police-involved deaths of black residents that sparked riots in cities from Ferguson, Mo., to Baltimore in the past year.

Black officers make up just 12% of all local police officers, the survey by the Bureau of Justice Statistics showed. The overall U.S. black population is 13.2%, according to estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau.

{snip}

The survey by the bureau, part of the U.S. Justice Department, is the first of its kind since 2007 and measures data gathered through 2013. The report didn’t break down minority numbers or percentages by individual departments, but officials said they would release more detailed data in the coming weeks.

The survey shows that the total number of sworn police officers at more than 12,000 local departments across the U.S. in 2013 was 477,000.

About 58,000 black officers were working in the U.S. in 2013, compared to about 55,000 in 2007, but the percentage of black officers as a share of the total number of police remained flat at about 12%.

Experts say distrust of police by African-Americans and the inability of many young blacks to pass police background checks and application tests have made it hard for departments to recruit more black officers.

Nelson Lim, a researcher at the Rand Corp., saw those factors at work when he consulted with the Los Angeles Police Department. He said the Los Angeles force–which was under a federal consent decree to diversify and was legally allowed to use race as a factor in hiring–still couldn’t achieve its goals.

“That’s how hard it is,” he said. “It starts out with supply. The first issue is whether minorities and women want to be cops.” said Mr. Lim, who added blacks may ask themselves “’Why would I want to join an organization that is known for not being friendly to people like me?’”

The survey showed that the total percentage of minority officers nationally has increased, rising to 27.3% in 2013 compared to 25.3% in 2007, thanks to an increase in the numbers of both Hispanic and Asian officers. The percentage of Hispanic officers alone rose from 10.3% in 2007 to 11.6% in 2013, almost matching the percentage of black officers nationwide.

Black candidates face several hurdles, including written tests that may not be culturally neutral or are simply outdated, the experts say. Extensive background checks, credit checks and mental-health checks also tend to reduce black recruits, since poverty and its attendant problems hit blacks more than whites and other ethnic groups, according to Ms. Kringen.

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  • Oil Can Harry

    So since many blacks are banned from becoming cops because of their arrest records the p.c. brigades will now demand the abolition of background checks!

    In A Clockwork Orange a future leftwing UK government allows gang members to become cops. Sounds like we’re heading in that direction.

    • While spending a weekend in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin a few years back, listening to Chicago radio, I heard a black caller to Chicago’s black talk radio station say that murder should only be a misdemeanor so that black men who are convicted of murder can be cops.

      • TruthBeTold

        The stuff you hear on black talk radio is insane. Blacks have theories to explain all their failures.

        • John Smith

          All except for one about a genetic predisposition toward violence and stupidity.

        • The Worlds Scapegoat

          Watch some youtube videos where blacks show proof that they created the Pyramids and all civilization – including written language and digital communication.

        • Dr. Rieux

          And yet they still can’t figure out why they get no respect.

      • Speedy Steve

        When a black offs another black, he should only be charged with littering, and receive a Crime-Stopper Award.

      • Light from the East

        Murder is not rare experience for blacks. No matter where they are, their nature is unchanged.

        • I think I can sorta fill in the blanks.

          I think blacks care way more about the black perpetrators of black on black murders than they do the black victims of black on black murders because after one of theirs dies, they almost quickly forget that they ever existed. Blacks will turn the instant of the death and the immediate aftermath (the memorial services) into showy ostentatious spectacles, full of hype and hoopla and bling. But look at black-run black cemeteries — No maintenance. That indicates to me that the memory of the departed totally dissipates once a certain amount of time after the death has elapsed.

          Meanwhile, the black murderer is still living, and still visible.

          • Light from the East

            Very good observation. Black people can have one kind of emotion in a moment and another kind in another moment. Their memory capacity seems to be pretty low and undeveloped. And I think that is the reason why black (Negroid) Africans (ancient Egyptians are not included since they are not blacks but dark-skinned North African Caucasians) didn’t have system of writing of their language before non-Africans introduced their own (Arabic script, Latin script).

    • John Smith

      An end to enforcing the law – police are now just to allow negroes to feel good about themselves because they can strut around in a blue suit with a badge and gun strapped on.

    • Ed

      You’re late, “ban the box” laws have already been instated in several progressive cities. These laws make it illegal to ask for criminal history during application process.

      • “Ban the box” is nothing more than political predication for mandated affirmative action for convicted felons.

        Follow along.

        The political rhetoric of BTB advocates is that there is a massive universe of (“black,” though they imply race far more than say it directly) ex-cons who are qualified for the jobs they apply for, but the applications’ question about previous felony conviction record and their having to check “Yes” means that HR/Personnel will send their application straight to File 13. Therefore, so goes the rhetoric, if the initial application doesn’t ask about felony convictions, i.e. if the “box” is “banned,” then felons’ felony records won’t show up on the first application. HR will call in Shitavious for the interview, Shitavious will totally impress the company’s HR hack, and Shitavious will get hired.

        In reality, even the politicians and advocates spouting this nonsense in favor of BTB know that it’s nowhere near true.

        So, what happens when BTB becomes universal and it does not result in all the Shitaviouses and Jaquariouses getting corner offices? The same politicians and advocates will then come back and make the case that there’s some subtle discrimination that remains that can only be broken down with…

        …mandated affirmative action for ex-felons.

        The only reason why it won’t happen in law enforcement is that cops carry guns and felons aren’t allowed guns. Not even the kookiest elected liberals want black felons to have guns even to close the cop gap.

    • Charles Martel

      I am wondering how it can b e that high

    • Earl P. Holt III

      You beat me to it…

  • Experts say distrust of police by African-Americans and the inability of many young blacks to pass police background checks and application tests have made it hard for departments to recruit more black officers.

    You need a police background check to join the police? What silliness.

    “That’s how hard it is,” he said. “It starts out with supply. The first issue is whether minorities and women want to be cops.” said Mr. Lim, who added blacks may ask themselves “’Why would I want to join an organization that is known for not being friendly to people like me?’”

    The question is more accurately asked like this: Why would I join an organization whose members have taken my Uncle Rufus and Uncle Rastus and Uncle Nedeshawntavious and Uncle Shitavious off to jail?

    Black candidates face several hurdles, including written tests that may not be culturally neutral or are simply outdated, the experts say. Extensive background checks, credit checks and mental-health checks also tend to reduce black recruits, since poverty and its attendant problems hit blacks more than whites and other ethnic groups, according to Ms. Kringen.

    Because, every police department needs a few more crazy bankrupt felons.

    • Oil Can Harry

      Social Justice Warriors: “Let’s hand guns and badges to mentally ill blacks who regularly hallucinate. I mean what could possibly go wrong?”

  • TomIron361

    I don’t see this as a problem. Just make more minority quotas. Problem solved.

  • MekongDelta69

    Experts say distrust of police by African-Americans and the inability of many young blacks to pass police background checks and application tests have made it hard for departments to recruit more black officers.

    Aaaaand, there ya go…

    • Speedy Steve

      Blacks on the force relish the opportunity to stick it to YT. Coming to think of it, blacks in any position relish the opportunity to stick it to YT.

      • texasoysterman

        Which is why it’s so much fun to do business in virtually any gubmint office. Surly, hateful smirking negresses abound.

        • Speedy Steve

          Not to mention fat, mouth-breathing, talk to moms on da sail foam, the ungodly pong of urea used to straighten out the brillo. But I digress.

  • Luca D.

    Blacks are 13% of the population and generally score about a 13% on their application tests. Well, at least that’s one statistic that holds up pretty well.

  • superlloyd

    If they weren’t so busy committing disproportionte amounts of crime then there might be a bigger pool of suitable candidates. But, ultimately, who gives a flying one. Experience shows that black police will be more corrupt, criminal and incompetent than white police. They should only police the undertow bruthas and the humans can police everyone else.

  • JohnEngelman

    the inability of many young blacks to pass police background checks and application tests have made it hard for departments to recruit more black officers.

    – Ben Kesling and Cameron McWhirter, Wall Street Journal, May 14, 2015

    That makes it difficult for any organization to fill its race quota.

    • Ed

      Blacks with college degrees are failing teacher certification tests at alarming rates in NY. There is talk of them abolishing the tests as a prerequisite for teacher certification.

      • LIBERTYSINCURSION

        Just another example of the never ending exercise of black privilege. If you or I fail a test we simply failed the test, that’s it, it’s done, better luck next time whitey. When blacks fail a test the test must be changed, AKA, dumbed down. When they fail the test again, once again, the test must be changed, AKA, dumbed down. And so on, and so on, and so on until the entire test is done away with completely. Because it’s not fair to not allow blacks to pretend to teach students material of which they themselves haven’t the foggiest understanding of. When the ability to deliver to the American children a thorough education. Begins to play second fiddle to the ability to pretend to deliver a thorough education to the American children while black. Serves to show just how bleak the American future seems.

      • TruthBeTold

        Tests were developed by the White man. The White man is racist. Tests are racists. Ergo, do away with the racist White mans’ tests.

  • Chip Carver

    Without affirmative action the number of black officers nationally would likely be 1% or so.

  • dd121

    There can’t be more because they can’t find enough qualified candidates who don’t have a criminal record and pass a drug test.

    • John Smith

      I think 12%, near parity with their overall population, is pretty good, more than enough actually. I guess “progressives” want 50% negroes.

  • Jason Lewis

    When I was in they were all in support positions. White and hispanic all in the forward units fighting.

  • John Smith

    Literacy is culturally outdated, according to “experts.”

  • Ed

    It’s not even the criminal background that holds blacks back, it’s the reading tests. Folks don’t understand how severe the literacy problem is with blacks. We ran into this at my old job. It was in a majority black city and we couldn’t find enough of them to pass reading tests set at the 8th grade level.

  • JIMMY

    85 % of whites and 68% of blacks graduated from high school in 2011-12 — of those starting high school four years earlier. Source: National Center for Education Statistics — U.S. Department of Education (April 2014). Might this account for the fact that blacks are 13 % of the population with “only” 12 % working as police officers?

  • Eagle1212

    I have nothing against blacks as people but they don’t seem to accomplish something on what they want to do for their future, they choose to go the opposite side and be the aggressor instead of stepping in to protect their community and doing what’s best for everybody in them, that’s why you see our prisons filling up at a rapid rate and half of the prisoners being black, more than any other ethnicity, I don’t blame them but their attitude is a prime example of their own living h**l, if they had a role model and were encouraged to be productive then you would see less crime in the neighborhoods and them actually accomplishing something.

    • pennawhytmn

      I am sorry. I mean this in the most respectful way. You have a lot to learn. Can there be SOME improvements? Yes, but the will be very very minimal. I once looked at society with those same rosey glasses that “Blacks would be a lot better off IF……………”. I thought that if we could convince Liberals to stop “helping” them, which actually holds them down, that Blacks could be somewhat better off. I never believed I had the right answer, but I was sure there was one. And then I started researching. I thought about economic, political, and social issues that could possibly “work”. Some made a bit of sense. Then I researched it from a SCIENTIFIC perspective. I read an awful lot about genetics and evolution. Much of it was basic, such as my college courses in regards to such, (by the way I wish I went in that direction in college). I often wonder too why my college courses didn’t delve into genetic differences among races of people, but now I KNOW WHY. I won’t try to sway your optimistic views and belief that we can do things to substantially reduce Black dysfunction. But after a great deal of reading on the subject, I see that nothing short of brute domination or complete segregation will do anything for Blacks as a collective group to make them beneficial to white western civilization..

  • TruthBeTold

    A lack of black officers, especially in communities with large
    African-American populations, has been cited frequently in the wake of
    police-involved deaths of black residents that sparked riots in cities
    from Ferguson, Mo., to Baltimore in the past year.

  • TruthBeTold

    A lack of black officers, especially in communities with large African-American populations, has been cited frequently in the wake of police-involved deaths of black residents that sparked riots in cities from Ferguson, Mo., to Baltimore in the past year.

    The same old tired canard.

    More black police officers are supposed to prevent ‘urban’ crime.

    Baltimore PD is 50% blacks.

    It’s not the number of blacks on the force. It’s the number of ‘urban’ residents.

  • TruthBeTold

    That 1.2% will make ALL the difference.

    Once that gap is closed, our urban centers will be crime-free Utopias.

  • James

    I used to hear the same whining, in movies granted, about disproportionate black deaths in Vietnam, which again was 13% of total US armed forces deaths if memory serves.

  • IKUredux

    I think that all police forces should be made up of nothing but Blacks. That way, we Whites, who can’t get jobs for one reason or another, can become criminals, and, based on the competency of the police force, will NEVER get caught. Shoot, WIN WIN. We Whites engage in criminal activities. We stop paying taxes. We only look out for our own. We should start doing this: an underground White economy. I am so done with this so called “united” states. What a bunch of crap.

    When TPTB decide that anyone who sneaks into this country is an American, when anyone who overstays their visa is an American, when a kid down south is told he can’t fly an American flag on his truck, because it might be offensive, which I would assume, makes him Unamerican. I gotta say, if this is what it means to be an American anymore, then, I AM NO LONGER AN AMERICAN.

    Nope. My allegiance is to my fellow Whites.

    • Caesar Avgvstvs

      Well said. Whites need to stop holding allegiance to nations that make “multiculturalism” state policy. That is nothing more than a declaration of war from the government to the people.

      I don’t see how people praising the fact that Whites will become a minority in all of their nations can be classified by Whites as anything other than an enemy of Whites. If someone walks into your house and tells you we expect one stranger to live here, and as time passes more show up, you will eventually find that the house is no longer yours.

  • Lexonaut

    IKUredux has said that he thinks all police force should be made up of nothing but blacks. I don’t think we need to go that far, especially because the nation will never agree to it.

    A simpler step that the nation might (might) (maybe) agree on is what I’ve been advocating for several weeks now, that a) all white cops immediately be pulled out of all minority communities nationwide, and that b) minority communities be encouraged to vote out of local office all whites in positions of decision making authority.

    I believe this is the only realistic short term step that could be taken to head off further riots. Even liberals should be able to see the benefits of making the evil racist white cop occupying army a thing of the past. Yes, there would be white flight — a lot more of it. Yes, there would be business flight too.

    But the riots would stop … And if they didn’t, even the most hardened liberals would have to begin to wonder why. If we can’t take this simple step then we’re going to end up with either or both of a) federalization of all local police and national guard units, or b) effective martial law in the inner cities such as we had during the Baltimore curfews.

    As shown by the Baltimore curfews, police states can be quite peaceful and can even accomodate a measure of political protest in the streets …

    … But is that the way we want America to be? A police state? Just because blacks won’t stop rioting?

    • IKUredux

      Actually, that comment was made tongue in cheek. Which was a pleasant change from my usual foot in mouth.

  • slobotnavich

    This is an outrage and a national disgrace! We shouldn’t rest until blacks comprise a precisely representative sample in all professions, trades, and occupations, to include neuro-surgery. Imagine how gratified you’d be to hear, as you’re waiting for a coronary bypass, “Hey, I be yo’ doctor and I be doin’ the cuttin’ on you today!”

  • Dr. Rieux

    And the percentage of po!ice officers who are black is only at a high of 12% because the standards for minority hiring have been gutted.

  • LiberalismFailed

    “Black candidates face several hurdles, including written tests that may not be culturally neutral or are simply outdated, the experts say.” This is the polite way of saying the black candidates can’t pass the tests for reasons related to intelligence and mental acumen.

  • AFlaVet

    Seems simple to me…they’re 12%….that’s all the slots they’re entitled to. We’re 85%…that’s all we’re entitled to.Fair enough to me.

  • Rev. Jesse B. Redneck

    So?

  • john miles

    It is also true that many blacks who are qualified do not want to work in a ghetto. They are quite aware that they will not be treated well or respected. They will be called an Uncle Tom or worse. It can also be hard for inner city police forces to recruit Hispanics and Asians for much the same reason hence so many white cops in predominately black areas.

  • chuck_2012

    The last paragraph sums up the problems with blacks..

    “Black candidates face several hurdles, including written tests that may
    not be culturally neutral or are simply outdated, the experts say.
    Extensive background checks, credit checks and mental-health checks also
    tend to reduce black recruits, since poverty and its attendant problems
    hit blacks more than whites and other ethnic groups, according to Ms.
    Kringen.”

    Why then can a second generation Hispanic, Asian or other who face the same issues in society learn how to speak, read and write the English? They do not need a special dumbed down test to qualify. It seems blacks really do have inferior brains in this modern society.

  • Earl P. Holt III

    There will be recommendations to ignore prior felony convictions of prospective nigro applicants in order to enable their being hired by local police departments…

  • slobotnavich

    Hah, you think that’s bad, blacks may be 12% of our population but they represent only .0005% of nuclear physicists. This clearly calls for a congressional investigation of “the root causes” of this clear and unmistakable white conspiracy to exclude blacks from the highest levels of the theoretical sciences.