Big Gap Between Races in U.S. on Trayvon Martin Killing

Deborah Charles, Reuters, April 12, 2012

Americans are deeply divided by race over the killing of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, with 91 percent of African-Americans saying he was unjustly killed, while just 35 percent of whites thought so, a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed on Thursday.

Fifty-nine percent of Hispanics believe that Martin was unjustly killed six weeks ago, according to the online poll of 1,922 Americans, conducted Monday through Thursday. (Link to poll: here)

In a sign of how riveted Americans have been by the case, 93 percent of those surveyed said they were aware of the shooting, which set off heated debates over race, gun control and crime.

“African Americans have a significantly different perspective on the whole incident than white Americans or Hispanic Americans,” said Ipsos pollster Chris Jackson. “This incident is one of the clearest splits we’ve seen between whites and blacks.”

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The poll also showed a stark racial divide between whites and blacks over whether heavy media coverage of the case had been appropriate. A total of 68 percent of blacks surveyed said they thought the amount of media coverage had been appropriate, while only 24 percent of whites thought it was right.

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