Black Americans are more likely than white Americans to express distrust in their local police departments, especially when it comes to use of excessive force, a new HuffPost/YouGov poll finds. But both blacks and whites tend to have a generally favorable view of police in their communities.
According to the survey, 24 percent of Americans say they have a great deal of confidence that police in their communities won't use excessive force on suspects, while another 31 percent said they have a fair amount of confidence. Seventeen percent said they have just some confidence, 13 percent said they had very little and 8 percent said they had none at all.
But while a combined 60 percent of white respondents said they had a great deal or fair amount of confidence that police won't use excessive force, only 44 percent of black respondents said the same. Meanwhile, 51 percent of black respondents said they had "just some" confidence or even less.
In an earlier HuffPost/YouGov poll, black respondents were much more likely than white respondents to say that police use lethal force too frequently, and far less likely to trust that police shootings will be properly investigated.
But according to the latest HuffPost/YouGov poll, 62 percent of black respondents and 69 percent of white respondents said they have a favorable opinion of police officers in their communities.
And in general, both white and black respondents said they have a great deal or a fair amount of confidence that police officers do the right thing most or all of the time, though white respondents (68 percent) were somewhat more likely to say so than black respondents (59 percent). Forty percent of black respondents, but just 30 percent of white respondents, said they had "just some" confidence or less that police usually do the right thing.
On the other hand, black respondents (26 percent) were only slightly more likely than white respondents (23 percent) to say that they believed they personally had been targeted or treated unfairly by police, a statistically insignificant difference.
The limitations of the new survey may gloss over the extent of the problem, however. A 2006 Kaiser survey that included larger samples of black men and women found that black men were likelier than either black women or the population as a whole to report worries about interactions with police.
In that survey, 22 percent of black men, but only 13 percent of black women and 6 percent of respondents overall were "very worried" about being arrested. Similarly, 37 percent of black men and 25 percent of black women, but 11 percent of respondents overall, said they were very worried about being treated unfairly by police.
In the new HuffPost/YouGov poll, the sample size of 117 African-Americans is too small to measure differences between men and women.
The HuffPost/YouGov poll was conducted Aug. 16-17 among 1,000 U.S. adults, including 117 black respondents, using a sample selected from YouGov's opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population. Factors considered include age, race, gender, education, employment, income, marital status, number of children, voter registration, time and location of Internet access, interest in politics, religion and church attendance.
The Huffington Post has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov's nationally representative opinion polling. Data from all HuffPost/YouGov polls can be found here.
08/26/2014 7:49 AM EDT
The Toll On Michael Brown's Family
USA Today's Yamiche Alcindor provides an intimate look at how Michael Brown's parents have been dealing with the loss of their son:
Phones constantly ring with reporters asking for interviews or family members offering support. Last week, as demands reached a tipping point, both parents moved into hotels to shield themselves.
In the days leading up to the funeral, Brown's mother continued to cry and spoke in whispers as she tried to explain her feelings.
"They say tomorrow is going to be the hardest day, but I think today was — just seeing my baby laying there, cold," Lesley McSpadden, 34, told USA TODAY. "It did something to my heart. It's too much. It's too much."
08/26/2014 7:44 AM EDT
New Audio Allegedly Captures Moment Michael Brown Was Shot
New audio has surfaced that allegedly captures the moment when Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot dead by Darren Wilson, a white police officer, on Aug. 9.
CNN aired the unverified recording on Monday night. Six shots can be heard, followed by a pause, then several more. A private autopsy performed on Aug. 17 at the request of Brown's family found that the 18-year-old was shot 6 times, including twice in the head.
08/25/2014 12:58 PM EDT
Al Sharpton: America, It's Time To Deal With Policing
08/25/2014 12:53 PM EDT
Al Sharpton: All Of Us Are Required To Respond
Rev. Al Sharpton: All of us are required to respond to this #MikeBrownfuneral— HuffPost BlackVoices (@blackvoices) August 25, 2014
08/25/2014 12:48 PM EDT
Benjamin Crump: We Will Not Accept Three-Fifths Justice For Michael Brown
08/25/2014 12:28 PM EDT
Funeral Program Includes Tribute From Michael Brown's Parents
USA Today reporter, Yamiche Alcindor shares photo of program which includes tributes to Michael Brown from his mother and father
08/25/2014 12:22 PM EDT
Michael Brown's Stepmother: He Prophesied His Own Death
Stepmother of #MichaelBrown said the late teen "pretty much prophesied his own death and didn't realize it."— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) August 25, 2014