Posted on August 18, 2014

A Tale of Two Cities? Blacks, Whites Sharply Disagree About Ferguson

Rasmussen Reports, August 18, 2014

The shooting incident in a St. Louis suburb is still under investigation, and just over half of Americans are not sure yet whether the police officer involved is guilty of murdering a black teenager. But most blacks have already made up their minds that the policeman should be found guilty. Blacks are also more convinced that the violent protests since the shooting occurred are mostly legitimate outrage rather than criminal activity.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 23% of all American Adults believe the police officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri should be found guilty of murder. Twenty-six percent (26%) think he was acting in self-defense. Fifty-one percent (51%) are undecided. {snip}

Fifty-seven percent (57%) of black adults, however, think police officer Darren Wilson should be found guilty of murder, compared to just 17% of whites and 24% of other minority Americans. Most whites (56%) and a plurality (49%) of other minorities are undecided.


When it comes to the mob violence that has occurred in Ferguson since the shooting, 25% of Americans think it has been primarily legitimate outrage over what happened. But 52% think it has been mostly criminals taking advantage of the situation. Another 23% are not sure. {snip}

While most whites (54%) and other minority Americans (53%) believe the violence has been chiefly criminals taking advantage of the situation, just 35% of blacks agree. Slightly more (41%) think the mob violence has been primarily legitimate outrage, a view shared by 24% of whites and 21% of other minorities. {snip}