Race relations worsening: CBS/NYT poll

by Gregory Tomlin, |
A demonstrator confronts police near Camden Yards during a protest against the death in police custody of Freddie Gray in Baltimore April 25, 2015. At least 2,000 people protesting the unexplained death of Gray, 25, while in police custody marched through downtown Baltimore on Saturday, pausing at one point to confront officers in front of Camden Yards, home of the Orioles baseball team. | REUTERS/Sait Serkan Gurbuz

ATLANTA (Christian Examiner) – A new poll from CBS News and the New York Times suggests race relations in the United States have declined to levels not seen since 1992.

According to the combined poll, 61 percent of Americans, including both black and white respondents, claimed race relations are "bad."

The poll also claimed 79 percent of African-Americans believe the police are "more likely to use deadly force against a black person, while 53 percent of whites believe race does not play a role."

"Overall, 44 percent of Americans say deadly force is more likely to be used against a black person, up from 37 percent in August and 40 percent in December," the Times reported. "Blacks also remain far more likely than whites to say they feel mostly anxious about the police in their community."

The New York Times explained the marked decline in race relations as the result of the protests surrounding the death of Freddie Gray, allegedly at the hands of Baltimore police, and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. Six officers of various races and genders have been charged in Gray's death. Officer Darren Wilson was cleared of wrongdoing in Brown's death.

According to CBS, 64 percent of whites and 57 percent of blacks believed the riots and protests following Gray's death were unjustified. And overall, roughly 60 percent of the respondents said they believed the investigation into Gray's death would be handled fairly. However, only a slight majority of blacks (52 percent) had confidence the investigation would be conducted in a "fair" manner.

According to figures published by the newspaper, of the 1,027 randomly sampled respondents, 783 identified themselves as white. Only 128, or just over 12 percent of the total respondents, identified themselves as black.

A Gallup survey published in November 2014, compiled with data from the period coinciding with the CBS/NYT poll, cited increasing numbers of Americans who expressed "confidence in police to protect them from violent crime."

"Since 1995, solid majorities of Americans have expressed confidence in police to protect them from violent crime, with the largest majority found in 1999, when 70 percent of Americans said they had confidence. Prior to 1995, trust in police among Americans ranged from 45 percent to 52 percent," the Gallup poll claimed.

The Gallup poll cites trust in the police as rising from 46 to 49 percent among the black community from 1984-2014.