According to a recent survey, the public has very different reactions to the recent grand jury decisions in two police-related fatalities that have sparked protests in cities across the country.
The data comes from a newly released Pew Research Survey.
By 50% to 37%, Americans say a grand jury made the right decision not to charge former Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown.
The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center and USA TODAY, conducted Dec. 3-7 among 1,507 adults, finds that race is not widely viewed as being a major factor in either decision. About a quarter (27%) say race was a major factor in the Brown decision, and 16% say it was a minor factor; about half (48%) say it was not a factor at all in the ruling.
The Garner case yielded 28 percent of responses that cited race as a major factor. 16 percent of respondents felt that race was a minor factor and 17 percent expressed no opinion about the impact of race in the Garner decision which was announced Dec. 3.
Blacks and whites have starkly different views of the decisions. Blacks are far more likely to list race as a major factor in both the Eric Garner and Michael Brown cases.
Among whites, just 16 percent say race played a major role in the decision not to charge Darren Wilson, and 18 percent say it was a major factor in the Eric Garner decision.
In reaction to both decisions, younger adults are more critical than older adults. Half under 30 called the decision wrong, while just 22 percent of adults over 65 years shared the same sentiment.
Are you surprised at all by the findings of this report? Does it simply reconfirm what you already are aware of?
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