Two-Thirds Of Young Blacks Cite Problems with Police

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Two-thirds of young African Americans and 4 in 10 Hispanics say that they or someone they know has experienced violence or harassment at the hands of the police, according to a new GenForward poll, the Associated Press reports. That includes about 2 in 10 in each group who say that was a personal experience, including about 3 in 10 black men who say the same. The poll also shows that young people still desire a police presence in their communities. GenForward is a survey of adults 18 to 30 by the Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago with the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The first-of-its-kind poll pays special attention to the voices of young adults of color, highlighting how race and ethnicity shape the opinions of a new generation.

The poll results come after the killing of several young black men by police around the nation, including the July 5 shooting death of Alton Sterling during a struggle with officers in Baton Rouge, and the fatal shooting of Philando Castile the next day by an officer in a suburb of St. Paul, Mn.  About 6 in 10 young adults consider the killings of black people by the police and violence against the police as extremely or very serious problems, the poll found. Young African Americans and Hispanics see killings by police as more serious problems and young whites see violence against the police as more serious. Most, especially blacks and Hispanics, say not-guilty verdicts for three Baltimore police officers charged in the 2015 death of Freddie Gray give them less confidence in the police.

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