Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017

About this project

“Racial Divide,” an in-depth look at race and policing in Arizona, is the fall 2017 graduate student project for Cronkite News. The students spent the past three months collecting data from Arizona law enforcement agencies, conducting dozens of interviews and examining the role race plays in policing our communities.

The four-part series explores whether police departments in the state reflect community demographics, what kind of repercussions that creates, how residents have pushed back and solutions departments have implemented to improve community relations.

How they did it:

The students requested public records from 105 of 111 Arizona police departments. The students asked for demographic breakdowns by gender, age and race of all full-time sworn officers from the past 10 years.

Only 42 departments provided the information. Five departments said they don’t keep these records, and two tribal departments told the students they are not legally required to provide the information.

For comparison, Cronkite News used 2013 data from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, which collected information from a sampling of 37 Arizona police departments.

Meet the students: