A new national survey conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research reveals a disparity among blacks' and whites' perception of violence against civilians by police. Nearly three-quarters of black respondents consider violence against civilians by police officers to be an extremely or very serious problem, compared to less than 20 percent of whites. However, the poll also finds agreement across racial groups on many of the causes of police violence, as well as further consensus that changes in policies and procedures could be effective in reducing tensions between minorities and police and in limiting violence against civilians.
The nationwide poll was collected July 17 to 19, 2015, using the AmeriSpeak Omnibus, the probability-based panel of NORC at the University of Chicago. Online and telephone interviews using landlines and cell phones were conducted with 1,223 adults, including 311 blacks who were sampled at a higher rate than their proportion of the population for reasons of analysis.
"This survey indicates that while there is a deep divide among Americans on these issues, there are key points of agreement as well," said Trevor Tompson, director of The AP-NORC Center. "There is widespread agreement that race relations in the United States are in a sorry state, and blacks and whites agree that changes in policies and procedures could be effective in reducing tensions between minorities and police and in limiting violence against civilians."
Some of the poll's key findings include:
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