Opinions, Context & Ideas from the TPM Editors TPM Editor's Blog

Recipe For Trouble

AP Photo / Robert Cohen

So is this just selective photojournalism? It would seem not. According to this article in the LA Times, the Ferguson City Police Department has 50 commissioned officers who are white and three who are black. According to 2012 Census Data, 65% of the population is black. 31% is white.

It's easy to be reductive about these things. No single incident can be tied to this kind of disparity. And there are instances of black cops taking a shoot first and ask questions later approach to policing with black civilians. But at a minimum, when you've got police bringing out armored vehicles, tear gas and rubber bullets (in addition to the old-fashioned metal kind), it's an extremely incendiary factor to have an almost exclusively white police force squaring off against an overwhelmingly black community, venting outrage at the shooting of an unarmed kid who was two days away from starting college.

About The Author


Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.