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:

Kianna Gardner, graduates fall 2017, @KiaGardner

Jasmine Spearing-Bowen, graduates fall 2017, @JasmineSpearing

Chelsea Rae Ybanez, graduates fall 2017, @rae_ybanez

Andrea Jaramillo Valencia, graduates fall 2017, @andrea_jota

Tynin Fries, graduates spring 2018, @TyninFries

Lysandra Marquez, graduates fall 2017, @LysandraJourno

Adrienne St. Clair, graduates fall 2017, @agestclair

Tyler Fingert, graduates spring 2018, @TylerFingert

Nkiruka Omeronye, graduates fall 2017, @NkirukaAzuka

Tim Johns, graduates spring 2018, @tim_johns_

Fortesa Latifi, graduates spring 2018, @fortesalatifi

Kara Carlson, graduates spring 2019, @KaraCarlson2

Fraser Allan, graduates fall 2017, @FraserAllanBest