On Monday, Joe Scarborough suggested that the lack of diversity among Ferguson’s police force makes the city resemble South Africa under apartheid.
On his Morning Joe show, Scarborough spoke about “community policing” and said that the unrest in Ferguson “started with the police department.” He said that there is not a “partnership” between the Ferguson community and the police department by which the community feels like they are represented by the police.
“When you get a place where there are 50 white cops out of 53 and only 3 black cops in a community that is overwhelmingly black, that’s not community policing,” he said. “That sounds more like apartheid in South Africa in this small town,” he said.
Scarborough said this “has been such a long, hot, tragic summer for this country and for Ferguson, and especially August.”
“It’s been a brutal, hot August,” he said. “You got the protests, you’ve had the riots, you’ve had the police overreacting in a lot of cases. And you’ve had race. You’ve also had police brutality.”
After saying that “the wounds to those things ripped open on the world stage,” Scarborough said that there “is a culture problem” and a debate needs to be had about a police culture “that is broken” and “didn’t work.”
“You see a bunch of young, scared kids pointing shotguns at Americans who are actually exercising their First Amendment rights,” he said of Ferguson’s militarized, white police officers pictured trying to calm down the riots.
Scarborough did not address whether black residents have applied to be police officers. Conservative talk radio host Larry Elder has emphasized that in black communities where police are denigrated as “the man” and black residents are ridiculed for “acting white” or being “sellouts” if they become police officers, few want to join the police force.