Record 69 Percent See Racial Bias in Justice System

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A majority of Americans support Black Lives Matter and a record 69 percent say black people and other minorities are not treated as equal to white people in the criminal justice system. The public opposes calls to shift some police funding to social services, a Washington Post-ABC News poll finds. The findings underscore the mixed fallout after the killing of George Floyd. There is increased public scrutiny of police treatment of Blacks, but less unity on broader questions. Stark divisions exist between different racial groups and among varied political identities. Confidence in police appears shaken after a wave of national protests. Compared with 2014, fewer Americans say they are confident that police are adequately trained to avoid using excessive force. More people say recent police killings of Black people are “a sign of broader problems” in police conduct.

The share of Americans saying that Blacks and other minorities do not receive equal treatment in the criminal justice system has risen by 15 percentage points from 2014. This year marks the first time a majority of whites has held this view. When compared with 2014, around the time of the killings of African Americans Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner in New York, larger shares of virtually every demographic group and every age group now say that minorities do not receive treatment equal to white people in the criminal justice system. The share of white Democrats who say Black people and other minorities do not receive equal treatment in the criminal justice system rose 19 points to 89 percent. White Republicans inched up seven points to 36 percent.

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