The police force in Ferguson, Missouri doesn’t look like the population it serves — more than 90 percent of the police there are white, while more than two-thirds of residents are black. A similar imbalance once existed in D.C. — decades ago, many residents in the majority black city saw police as an occupying force.
Ronald Hampton joined MPD in 1972, just a few years after the riots following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. He served 23 years on the force, and was the executive director of the National Black Police Association. Hampton spoke with WAMU 88.5 this week about relations between the community and police in the 1970s and how Ferguson now reflects D.C. then.