Facing a wave of police retirements, Minneapolis plans to hire nearly 100 new officers this year, the largest addition to its ranks in recent history, reports the city’s Star Tribune. Officials say at least 71 percent of the new hires are likely to be white, giving rise to concerns among minority groups that the racial makeup of the force — particularly blacks — is not keeping up with the rest of the city.
The issue of police force diversity has drawn attention in recent days after a white officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Mo., a predominantly black St. Louis suburb whose police department is overwhelmingly white. Minneapolis police have about half the black and Hispanic officers they need to accurately reflect the city's population, records show. This comes despite years of diversity plans, legal action and a federal mediation agreement sparked by low levels of minority representation within the police.