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The FBI's big diversity problem

The FBI has always had a diversity problem — and it appears to be getting worse.

A new article from ProPublica digs into the past, present, and future of the FBI and why its ranks are so persistently white, even as senior officials are fully aware of the problem.

From 1995 to 2014, black agents dropped from 5.3 to 4.4 percent of the FBI's special agents. That percentage is lower than it was when black agents sued the FBI for discrimination. Meanwhile, Latinos made up just 6.5 percent of special agents in 2014. (ProPublica wasn't given more recent numbers.)

Former FBI Director James Comey condemned the ever-growing whiteness, calling it a "crisis" that he "worked very hard to make sure the entire FBI understands." A senior official called the lack of diversity "a huge operation risk," as the agency misses out on perspectives necessary to identify and tackle threats.

But diversity isn't everyone's top priority, as President Trump seems more focused on criticizing the institution's integrity.

A diverse FBI starts with diverse recruits, but hiring is yet another longstanding issue within the FBI. ProPublica spoke to several retired agents who blamed field office recruiters, white interview panelists, and even current black agents for a failure to recruit diverse agents.

Read the whole investigation at ProPublica to learn more about what made the FBI the not-so-diverse institution it is today.