Leaders of U.S. cities have serious concerns about race relations, minority communities and policing issues as the one-year anniversary of last year's unrest in Ferguson approaches, says a Politico magazine survey. Nine out of 10 mayors expressed concern about the state of race relations and police in their city, with nearly a third describing themselves as “deeply concerned” about local race and policing. The revelation illustrates the intensity and seriousness with which mayors have taken up the issue, as many cities have dealt with public unrest over the last year.
While not scientific, the survey represented a diverse range of cities and showed clear trends across cities of varying sizes, political traditions and geographic regions. Experts have suggested that the most fundamental improvement departments can adopt remains the simplest: creating a police force that resembles the citizens it's sworn to protect. A majority of mayors surveyed—56 percent—said their police departments did not accurately reflect the racial makeup of their cities, and 13 percent said their force was “extremely” different than the racial makeup of their cities, underscoring that communities like Ferguson—which received harsh criticism in the wake of last year's protests for its largely white police force overseeing a majority black city—are less the exception than the rule.