Many police departments still struggle to recruit officers of color and women. Nearly three-quarters of police officers are white, while the U.S. population is about 63 percent white, according to census data. Diversity isn’t the only answer, as evidenced by the fact that three of the Baltimore officers arrested for Freddie Gray’s death are black.
But this moment of increased scrutiny around police officers’ relationships with the black community has raised interesting questions for black officers in other departments. In this video fromAJ+, Oakland Police Lieutenant LeRonne Armstrong tells his story. Raised in Oakland, California, he’s one of 120 African American cops in the city’s 715-member department.