POLITICS
07/31/2015 04:59 pm ET

White Americans Still Think The Police Are Mostly Fair

But nearly three-quarters of black parents say they've warned their kids to be careful when dealing with police.

The deep racial divide over the way police treat black Americans hasn't narrowed since the beginning of the year, a new survey finds.

In a HuffPost/YouGov poll taken in the wake of Sandra Bland's death in police custody and the police shooting of Samuel Dubose, white Americans say by a 16-point margin -- 47 percent to 31 percent -- that police in most cities treat black Americans fairly. This number is virtually unchanged since February. Three-quarters of black Americans disagree.

Opinions of the police remain relatively high, with 65 percent of Americans rating their local police force favorably, and people of all races more likely than not to express positive views of their local cops.

Whites are considerably more unreserved about their support. Fifty-two percent of them, compared to just 32 percent of blacks, say their experiences with law enforcement have been mostly good ones, rather than mixed or mostly bad. But just a small percentage of either group -- just 21 percent of whites, and 22 percent of blacks -- say they're at all afraid of the police.

Most black parents, though, are afraid for their children. Seventy-four percent say they've warned their kids they need to be careful when dealing with the police. Just 32 percent of white parents have felt the need to issue a similar warning.

Age is also a factor in views of the police. Adults under the age of 45 are significantly less likely than older Americans to say they've had mostly good experiences with law enforcement, and are more likely to be personally afraid of the police.

The HuffPost/YouGov poll consisted of 1,000 completed interviews conducted July 23-27 among U.S. adults, using a sample selected from YouGov's opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population.

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. More details on the polls' methodology are available here.

Most surveys report a margin of error that represents some, but not all, potential survey errors. YouGov's reports include a model-based margin of error, which rests on a specific set of statistical assumptions about the selected sample, rather than the standard methodology for random probability sampling. If these assumptions are wrong, the model-based margin of error may also be inaccurate. Click here for a more detailed explanation of the model-based margin of error.

 

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