(WASHINGTON) — A Pew research poll finds wide differences between black and white Americans over various aspects of the shooting of unarmed Ferguson, Missouri, teenager Michael Brown, who witnesses say was gunned down by a local cop.
Overall, 44 percent of the 1,000 respondents questioned say the case that has resulted in civil unrest in Ferguson raised important issues about race. Eighty percent of blacks concurred with that assessment, compared to 37 percent of whites.
Meanwhile, four in 10 of Pew respondents believe the incident is getting too much attention. Just 18 percent of blacks and 47 percent of whites agreed with that statement.
As for the police response to the protests over Brown’s death, blacks by a two-to-one margin over whites feel law enforcement has overreacted. Twenty percent of blacks and 32 percent of whites contend the police response has been justified.
Regarding the investigation into the shooting, 76 percent of blacks and a third of whites don’t have confidence in the probe up to now, while 52 percent of whites and 18 percent of blacks say they have either a great deal or fair amount of confidence.
Breaking it down by party lines, Republicans are more apt than Democrats to say the case has gotten too much attention and that the police response has been justified. GOP voters are also more confident in the investigation of the case than Democrats.
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