Speed Reads

The police state

Hundreds of police departments are plagued by serious racial disparities

Hundreds of police departments are composed of 30 percent more white people than the communities they serve, according to The New York Times, which displayed its findings in an array of interactive maps.

The maps rank the 15 cities so that police departments with the greatest racial disparities come first. St. Louis, Mo., which includes Ferguson, tops the list. The New York City area, which has been marked by reports of racially biased police profiling and brutality for years, runs a close second.

At the bottom of the list are Seattle, Denver, and Kansas City. Though police in these areas are closer to representing the racial makeup of the broader population, each includes police departments with at least a 36 percent gap. Only police in Falls Church, Va., a suburb of Washington, D.C., and Bellaire, Tx., a suburb of Houston, have a higher representation of minorities compared to their communities. In each case, the gap is a negligible -1 percent.