The Cheyenne Police Department claims racial bias is not an issue for its officers.
The Department released data this week showing how different racial groups in Cheyenne are represented in police citations—and incidents where police use force with a crime suspect.
"We don’t believe it’s a problem here, but with all this discussion nationwide, let’s actually go in—do the analysis so that we can confirm it’s not an issue in the community," says CPD public information officer Dan Long.
"When we compared the race demographics on the citations that we issued in 2015 to the U.S. Census for Cheyenne, we found that we’re pretty close to those," says Long. "So that shows that Cheyenne police officers, they’re out there doing the right thing."
But the 2015 data does show some race-based disparities. American Indians represent just 1 percent of the city’s population, but they accounted for 4 percent of all incidents where police used force. Three percent of Cheyenne residents are black, but black residents accounted for 7 percent of incidents where forced was used.
Long says all CPD officers went through cultural awareness training last year, which included learning about racial profiling.
The Department reports that 6 percent of its officers are Hispanic, 3 percent are black, and 11 percent are women.