Eight piercing cracks of gunfire echoed in the ears of millions as televisions and news feeds were flooded with the horrific footage of Walter Scott's death at the hands of a North Charleston Police Officer last April. Along with media-grabbing acts of civil disobedience and property destruction by angry protestors, gawk-inducing cell phone videos pushed law enforcement officials into a spotlight they’d probably prefer to avoid.

It was in that context that we decided to see how well police departments sync with the populations they serve by taking a look at their respective political contributions since 1980.

Here's what we found.

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